Serving Youth with Gender Identity Concerns

Kyndal Tawzer a recent graduate of UYWI’s 90 Degrees Certification Program shares how some of the youth that she mentors deal with gender identity issues. She talks about a 9th grader boy who used to come to her youth group meetings dressed as a girl. 90 Degrees Certification Program has equipped her with the resources and tools that she needs to more effectively mentor youth that battle with their gender identity.

There are youth that have conflict between their physical gender and are medically diagnosed with having Gender Identity Disorder. They know what they have been told they are; they understand their anatomy, but there is an internal disconnect. People with Gender Identity Disorder may act and present themselves as members of the opposite sex which is not the same as homosexuality. They tend to cross-dress, show habits typical of the opposite sex, withdraw from social interaction, etc. This is messy for the church because the church gets squirmish when you talk about anything dealing with gender issues. Why?

  • Some are ignorant: Ignorance that transfers to ungodly words and actions can perpetuate destruction in the lives of the youth struggling with this issue.
  • Some are afraid: Culturally, the taboo-ness of the topic makes some people afraid to be around people who struggle with their gender identity.
  • Some are not compassionate: There are believers that are not concerned and have a hardened heart.
  • Some are ill-equipped: Some believers just don’t know how to help. Fortunately, we have the help of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and the body of Christ.
  • We are not sovereign: God has not given us the authority to control anyone’s sanctification process, that’s His responsibility.
  • The struggle to image Christ: We need to value Christ’s agenda above our own.

As youth workers, we get to disciple youth in the identity that God has given us. God has made male and female in complementary, but distinguished roles that show forth who He is. There is not one issue that is too hard for God. Healing flows as we disciple and love youth even when their hearts wrestle with the issues of life and lead them to cross where they can find their identity. Urban Youth Workers Institute is committed to inspiring, and equipping youth leaders with the tools that they need to better disciple and mentor youth who are struggling with their gender identity.

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