Gender dysphoria


I am pleased to see that our diocese is working on what Father Thom Hennen calls the “challenging puzzle” of gender dysphoria. The diocesan committee on gender seems to be taking its task seriously.

When I was growing up in the 1960s, sexuality was binary, male and female, with nothing in between. I never heard the word “gay” used in a sexual sense until I got to college. Now we are learning about gender identity, which “refers to one’s internal understanding of one’s gender, or the gender with which a person identifies,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Transgender persons, for example, may identify as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or none of those labels.

I have relatives who are gay and transgender. They are serious; they are good people; they are not making this up. They know their identity and they are not afraid to come out and proudly admit it. I admire their courage in doing so because some people in our society and our Church are judgmental and not accepting.

The image of a puzzle that Father Hennen used in his article is, I believe, an accurate one. I do not know what will be the outcome of the diocesan gender committee’s discernment process. It seems they are working at their task with an open mind, and I commend them for that.


Joe Gross
St. Ann Parish, Long Grove

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