Back to the basics. Human sexuality has three essential components:
Gender Identityis a person’s innate sense of being Male or Female. It’s present at birth and can’t change throughout life.
Gender refers to a person’s core personality traits: their gifts, interests, perspectives, and challenges. It likewise is present at birth and can’t change throughout life.
Sex refers to the physical or biologic characteristics: chromosomes, hormones, gonads, genitals, and so on. Biology is constantly changing, from a unisex childhood to puberty to (hopefully) fertile young adulthood to menopause to the senior years. Biologic characteristics are also subject to trauma, disease and surgery. Gender (personality) doesn’t depend on biology (sex). A woman remains a woman after menopause or hysterectomy. A man remains a man even if he’s taking estrogen after surgery for testicular cancer.
Which is exactly what the LDS Proclamation on the Family (1995) states:
Gender is an essential characteristic of individual pre-mortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.
Can Biology Determine Gender?
Gender & Gender Identity are eternal, an intrinsic unchanging aspect of an individual’s eternal spirit. Biology refers specifically to the mortal body – temporary during this earthly existence, and completely absent during the pre-mortal existence and afterlife.
Many people think that XX chromosomes, ovaries and a vagina determine that someone is female, while XY chromosomes, testicles and a penis prove that the person is male. Except all those girl & boy parts are acquired at physical birth. How could they determine pre-mortal gender? ...It's doubtful that pre-mortal spirit bodies have chromosomes, hormones or gonads to male them male or female.
Being female or male is an aspect of spirit, independent of physical mortal biology.
However, someone might argue that a spirit's GENDER always determines the body's physical appearance. That is, a female spirit forces her body to develop XX chromosomes, ovaries and a vagina. Does a spirit's appearance mold the body's appearance? -- Do tall spirits make tall bodies; left-handed spirits make left-handed bodies, and so on?
At least for those people born with congenital conditions, the physical body at birth does NOT match their spiritual appearance. For example, someone born without a limb or with a defective heart doesn't have a one-armed eternal spirit or a spirit with any other defect. The Gospel teaches that physical disabilities -- including those present at birth -- will be corrected at the time of resurrection:
The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame.
-- Alma 40:23
Spiritual appearance often does not match physical appearance at birth, but it will after the resurrection.
Intersexuality refers to a group of conditions that affect sexual biology at birth. It's a catch-all category: some conditions affect chromosomes, others involve the gonads, hormones, sexual anatomy, and so on.
For example, someone with Complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (CAIS) has female anatomy at birth, along with female gifts, interests, perspectives, values and challenges. …Even though she has XY-chromosomes, testicles and high levels of testosterone. In fact, girls with CAIS often don't even realize they have it until puberty.
Consider a member of the Church who happens to have been born with CAIS. Her birth certificate says "Female". She acts like a girl and enjoys being a girl. She grows up wearing dresses, plays with other girls, goes to primary & Sunday School as a girl, and graduates into Young Women's. Then suddenly medical testing discovers her XY Chromosomes and all the rest.
Is she "Really a Man"? There's no treatment that can change her sexual biology to male. Should she be forced to wear pants, white shirt and tie? (Which would make her absolutely miserable!) Should she be ordained to the priesthood? Which restroom should she use? Can she get a temple recommend and marry? ...And should her spouse be someone with a penis or someone with a vagina?
If you ask, she'll tell you that she's always been female (gender identity). What gender did she have in the pre-existence? -- Before she had chromosomes and testicles. Is she a female spirit placed in a body with defective chromosomes? -- So she'll be resurrected with XX Chromosomes.
CAIS proves that chromosomes and gonads don't determine gender.
Research has demonstrated that Transsexuality is a variant of CAIS in which testosterone blockage is temporary instead of permanent. (See HERE for more details.) In both cases, the BRAIN develops as female, even though there might be XY chromosomes around. In both circumstances, the only rational approach is to listen to what the individual is saying, and how she acts, etc. -- NOT to demand that she obey the results of some lab test.
I must have been too much of a feminist during the pre-existence. Always complaining about male privilege, all-male councils, male priesthood, and all that. ...It's so not fair!
So God decided to teach me a lesson: If I'm so envious of men, He sent me to earth with a male body.
That showed me! I've spent my entire life struggling to regain what I once had.
Brigham Morris Young (1854–1931) was one of the more famous crossdressers in early Mormon history. The son of Brigham Young and his wife, Margaret Pierce, he served two missions in the Hawaiian Islands (1875–1885). After being released from his mission, his father the Prophet called him to found an organization for the spiritual enrichment of Mormon youth – which came to be known as the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association (YMMIA) and is still in operation today. Elder Young served faithfully on the General Board for a large part of his life.
In 1875, he married Armeda Snow, a daughter of Lorenzo Snow (the fifth President of the Church). They had ten children.
But Elder Young was best known as Madam Pattrini, advertised as a “great female opera singer” (shown above). For almost twenty years, she performed at stake & ward functions throughout northern & central Utah. At the time, it was considered great fun – no one knew they were supposed to be shocked, disgusted and embarrassed.
The New Gender Paradigm
The Mormon Portal
This website offers a series of articles of interest to faithful LGBT members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons):
1. The Bible: The scriptures do NOT condemn gays or "crossdressers". The current anti-LGBT mythology results from intentional mistranslation.
2. Rejection of the Faithful: I believe in a God of Love, not hate. It's ridiculous to think that God would reject or exclude someone because of the way He created them.
3. Church Doctrine on Gender: Transsexual women have a female spirit with a (defective) male body -- which will be made whole at the time of resurrection.
4, The New Anti-Gay Policy: In November 2015 Church General Authorities proclaimed that gays are apostates while their children would be automatically disfellowshipped. .
Mormons on the WPATH
Nowhere in the Scriptures is there a clear statement, "Thou shalt exclude the transsexuals." In fact, a close reading of the Scriptures shows that transsexuals have played a central role in Gospel history (see HERE). Unfortunately, the Mormon Policy on transsexuals comes direct from the pages of the DSM and WPATH -- ie, the strange world of psychiatric fantasy.
A transsexual woman is female from birth. At two, her first words are, "I'm a girl, mommy." She demands to wear dresses, chooses girls to be her friends, and pursues female interests. Except psychiatrists insist that the 2-year old is Really a Boy with a mental disorder -- even though no defect in mental processing has ever been identified in these children. Furthermore, a 2-year old with a penis who says she's a girl is a threat to civilization and the natural order of things. She must be stopped at any cost.
Dutifully, the General Authorities have ruled that transsexuality is a cause for "Church Discipline" -- usually excommunication. ...Not for any inkling of disbelief or bad behavior. Simply because of being born transsexual.
The prevailing myth suggests that a transsexual woman is Really a Man at birth, who then decides on a whim to "change genders". (Ignoring the fact that she's fervently proclaimed her femininity since birth.) Everyone knows that gender is dictated by God and can't be changed. Specifically, God's Will is manifest in the Penis. Nothing the girl can say or do can overrule the mighty penis.
Another option might be to humor the child and let her live as she so fervently demands. What difference would it make? But psychiatric extremists like Paul McHugh, Ken Zucker, Michael Baily, Ray Blanchard, and others have dedicated their lives to the elimination of transsexuality from the human race. (See HERE.) And Church leaders have unquestioningly followed their lead. They have accepted the assignment of eliminating transsexuality from the Church. The penis must be preserved and protected, everywhere it's found.
In 1995 the Church released the Proclamation on the Family, believing it would put an end to transsexual claims. In fact, it has reinforced the transsexual view that gender is NOT determined by a penis. The Proclamation should have turned the Church leadership away from popular psychology and gender theory -- nonsense about "gender is a social construct", "blank slate" and "gender development" (transsexuality supposedly a results from "defective gender development.") But the Church psychology department is alive and well.
If gender is eternal and a key component of each individual's personality...
Do pre-mortal spirits have the same gender range that exists here on earth?
Will the current earthly gender range continue after the resurrection?
Gender is a spiritual trait that has already been determined during the pre-existence.
Obviously gender is NOT determined by chromosomes, hormones, or by any other component of a physical body.
This article discusses the gender-related doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS Church or Mormon). Crossdressing & transsexuality mesh perfectly with those doctrines. Unfortunately, current Church policies have been based on the Catholic "expert" Paul McHugh's obsessions from the 1960’s & 1970’s instead of being based on Scripture and divine revelation. As a result, transsexuals have generally been denied access to the fullness of the Gospel. …Although exceptions have been granted on a case-by-case basis by the First Presidency (see the Handbook of Instructions.)
Eternal life and eternal progression are at the core of LDS doctrine. Every person is a unique child of God. Our Father in Heaven has unconditional love for each of his children, and he yearns to have each one dwell with Him in His Kingdom. He sent the Gospel to guide people back into His presence. Jesus the Christ died to pave the way for every single person.
The Plan of Salvation didn’t begin on Earth. Every individual existed as an “intelligence” from the dawn of time. At some point, that divine spark was given a spiritual body which allowed it to serve God during a period of time known as the “pre-existence” (see D&C 93:29 ff).
The next step was to be born on this Earth – that is, to acquire a physical body made of flesh and blood. But Earth’s physical body is mortal. Upon death, the body of flesh & blood decomposes, while the individual’s spirit continues in an “afterlife”. …With the promise of resurrection (a rejoining of body & spirit) on Judgment Day. That resurrected body is immortal.
After the Day of Judgment, God’s Chosen will dwell with Him for eternity.
But that’s only the physical part. During each phase of existence, an individual learns and grows through their choices and experiences. The insight achieved in one phase is carried to the next phase, to be further developed and advanced.
Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.
-- Isaiah 28:9-10
Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.
-- D&C 130:18-19
In other words, every person's spirit has personality, values, memory and insight that gradually accumulate and develop through all the phases of the Plan of Salvation. That personality or "principle of intelligence" is what counts. It determines whether an individual will draw closer to Heavenly Father, or waste eternity in self-indulgence.
For a more in-depth discussion of the pre-existence, see: The Development of the Doctrine of the Preexistence by Charles Harrell, BYU Studies Vol 28:2 (Spring 1988)