Have you ever had a conversation about gender identity with friends or family?
The Vatican offers an educational guide, “Male and Female He Created Them” to address the current educational crisis around human sexuality.
Here are 5 tips to keep in mind when talking about gender identity with your friends (or anyone).
1. Tread Lightly
Whoever you are speaking with probably knows and loves someone who is confused about their gender. Speaking in an offensive way will only make them close themselves to what you are saying. What you’re saying is important, but HOW you say it can make or break the effectiveness of what you want to communicate.
2. Speak the Truth
While we should be kind, we should not be cowards. The Church has definitive teaching about gender, and we should clearly and fully say the Church’s teachings on the issue. Keep in mind that speaking the truth is an act of love.
3. Know the Facts
Read what the Church has actually said about the topic, and stick to that. If you do express your opinion, make sure your friend knows it’s your opinion and not the Church’s.
Don’t feel equipt to speak on this issue? Read the document released by the Vatican (linked above) or check out these resources offered by the USCCB.
4. Distinguish Confusion and Sin
Many people who are tempted to change their identity are genuinely confused. Don’t assume you know what’s going on interiorly.
That means we should not condemn them, but rather help them recognize who they are as loved and created by God.
5. Stay Positive
The Catholic Church’s teaching on human sexuality and identity is the most freeing and life-giving teaching out there (because it’s true)! Express that positivity in the way you speak about the topic and make sure that the other person knows you are coming from that point of view – you want to help and love people, not just tell them they’re wrong.