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I am praying for James. In a lot of ways, James is just an average six-year-old boy. Three things that make him exceptional are his good looks, his sweet disposition and his high intelligence. The fourth exceptional thing about James is that his mother insists he's a girl.
Just to be clear, James is genetically a boy. And biologically a boy. And, at the moment, legally a boy. Based on the three occasions I've spent time with him, I’d say he acts and looks unmistakably like a healthy six-year-old boy. He's pictured above wearing his favorite tee-shirt.
But, sadly, James has gotten caught up in our culture's on-going and intensifying confusion about sex and gender. Within just the last few years, it feels to many of us as though our culture has lost its grip on reality, including the basic distinction between men and women.
Since the '70's, so-called Gender Theory has rejected traditional (and Biblical) binary categories of male and female in favor of a "gender spectrum," with essentially infinite variations. A dizzying debate has ensued, with evangelical Christians sticking with how the Bible defines gender (Genesis 1-3, for instance).
This cultural debate forms the background to James' life and current experience. His mother insists that, when he was two or three years old, James told her that he was a girl, or felt like a girl, or liked girls. It's hard to figure out exactly what he is supposed to have said.
But whatever it was, James' mom and a local psychiatrist have taken it to mean that James has what is called gender dysphoria, a psychiatric condition in which a person feels a disconnect between his or her biological sex and his or her gender self-conception.
On the basis of this diagnosis, James' mom has undertaken the first stage of preparing him for possible hormone treatments (beginning as early as age eight) and eventual sex-reassignment surgery. The first stage is called socialization.
So, today, six-year-old James is being socialized in a Dallas-area school as a girl. He wears dresses and uses the girls' bathroom. He goes by a girl's name. And his teachers are instructed to tell everyone he is a girl.
James' dad, Jeff (who is divorced from James' mom), is determined to do all he can to raise his son as a boy, at least until such time as James is of age to make some other decision for himself. Jeff is under pressure from the courts to go along with his ex-wife's plan.
I feel so sorry for James and Jeff, and for James' twin brother, Jude. I also feel sorry for James' mom, who has tragically bought into the transgender phenomenon. Honesty, I am praying for all four of these hurting people.
But most of all, I am praying for James, an average six-year-old boy, a sweet-natured, intelligent, lovable and at this point particularly vulnerable young man, caught up in a titanic clash of worldviews. May our sovereign God have mercy on him.
To learn more about James, and to explore specific ways you might be able to help him, please click on savejames.com.