Mormon Prophets Claim Transsexuals are sent from the Devil
by Laura Amato
Man has come a long way since biblical times. Science has paved the way to cure many illnesses, help us to fly, go into space and build many engineering marvels. While we have a long way to go in understanding many of life's mysteries we have solved a great many of them. Some though would rather throw us back to those times when BC (Before Christ) came after the number of years man has recorded and make us work with tools of stone once again. They would deny scientific and medical facts and attribute them all to an evil or benevolent being. Such people are seething in ignorance. Whether its terrorism or suppression, many atrocities have been committed in the name of religious beliefs. This continues in this modern age of man.
"Joe" (not his real name) is an American Teenager born into the Southern Bible belt. He and his parents are Mormons. The problem is Joe is a female to male (FTM) Transsexual who was born a woman, though his mind and soul are male. The condition known as Transsexualism is a medically recognized condition. It has specific remedies outlined in the HBIGDA Standards of Care to treat it. Its not surprising that those with this condition have a pretreatment suicide rate higher than any group. In a survey here over 50% of Transsexuals have had at least one suicide attempt by their 20th birthday. PROPER Treatment can and does lower the rate to the national norm or below it.
However a local Mormon Prophet claims this is nonsense. The condition is caused by the "DEVIL", he says. Joe has been told that if he does not immediately renounce being (TS) Transsexual and attend exhaustive religious training immediately he will be excommunicated from his beloved Church. He stopped by to tell us that he has no choice he must stop being who he is.
Laura's Playground is a Transgendered support site. We support TG's and their families. Our chat and site are meant to show that we are not alone. Medical information, a therapist list and support groups are provided. We always urge people to seek the proper medical care. We certainly don't push our views. We leave it up to the professionals to treat.
"Joe'' has been chatting with us for about a year. When he came to us he was severely depressed and practiced the self abusing practice of cutting himself. His parents never knew. We tried to talk him into seeing a gender therapist who could help him and calling a Suicide prevention Hotline for Transgendered teens. In addition we urged him to let his parents know the pain he was feeling. After refusing our pleas he finally listened. We were not at all prepared for what happened next.
Instead of taking him to a medical professional to get the help he desperately needed, his mother took him to Mormon Church elders who "counseled" Joe themselves. He was told to dress and behave in a manner appropriate for women. They thought that was the end of it as "Joe" complied for a while. Once again he came to the chat rooms, depressed and talking of suicide. The cutting became worse. We armed him with articles from medical professionals and told him to call the suicide hotline and ask his mother for Professional medical help. We were rebuffed. That was three Months ago.
On Tuesday, August 16th "Joe" announced in the chat room that it was no longer possible to be himself. I asked him what was wrong. He told me that his mother took his case to the Mormon Prophets. They declared that being Transsexual was a product of the devil himself. They urged him to renounce being TS and return to being the woman he was born to be. "Joe" proclaimed his love for his church and declared that he had no choice or he would be excommunicated. We asked him what he wanted and he declared that it didn't matter. His path had been chosen for him.
While ignorance may truly be bliss it seems criminal to deny a Transgendered teen the medical and psychological help he needs. This is a kid who thinks often of suicide and still cuts himself constantly. It amazes me that Human Rights for the Mormon Prophets has taken a back seat to a perceived evil and that a precious human life may hang in the balance because of it. I am truley outraged.
Laura Amato August 17, 2005
Note July 8th, 2008
This article has generated a lot of interest. Some have claimed no Prophet would claim "Transsexuals were sent from the devil" and scream that this article is a fabrication. The fact is this article is 100% true and in fact played itself out in our suicide prevention crisis rooms for a year in front of dozens of witnesses almost nightly. Only the name has been changed. He was refused therapy and treatment for a bonafide medical condition and treated by Church "Counselors" with absolutley no medical or licensed therapist experience. It was treated as a religious matter and he was denied the proper treatment. This is an outrage. Neither is this an isolated or single incident. Their have been many similar incidences here resulting in suicide attempts and death. This ocurrs time and again to Transsexuals of other faiths as well on this site. Out of 5.5 million users here, not one has been cured permanently by prayer alone. Transsexuality is a bonafide medical condition with Treatment outlined by Wpath. It is in no way a religious issue. This article happens too often here in varying forms. The fact that prayer gets substituted for real treatment is a crime. It is a fact that religious bigotry in one form or another has a hand in causing nearly two thirds of suicide attempts and ideations here. Ask any moderator here who works in our crisis rooms. Far too many Gay and Transgender people have been told point blank by religious nuts that they would be "better off to commit suicide than remain gay or transgender. I ask you, how Christlike is that?