VERNON, N.J. — A pastor of a Lutheran church in New Jersey was recently featured in an online video in which he and his wife told the story of their 10-year-old son, who they have allowed to present as female for the past two years.
Christopher Bruesehoff of Holy Counselor Lutheran Church in Vernon and his wife Jamie state that their son Benjamin, who now goes by the name Rebekah, began showing an interest in pink and sparkles at a young age, and became more discontent with being grouped with the boys.
“Rebekah has always been gender non-conforming,” Jamie states in the video released by Barcroft TV. “As young as two or three she gravitated to typically feminine things. She loved pink and sparkles and all things girly. And that was fine with us.”
By age seven, Benjamin was showing signs of depression and attempted to commit suicide.
“We were faced with a seven-year old kid who wanted to die,” she recalled. “One time she punched out the screen of her second story window and tried to jump out.”
Benjamin went for counseling, and one day, while looking for a gender-neutral swimsuit online, the word “transgender” came up. Jamie explained to Benjamin what it meant, and he replied that maybe that’s what he is.
“I felt like I was a girl because I liked the color pink and I liked girls’ clothes and how they wore their hair and stuff,” Benjamin explained in the video.
The Bruesehoffs then began allowing Benjamin, who now sports long pink hair and wears skirts and jewelry, to present himself as a girl. They put some of his memories away in a container called the “Benjamin box” as his boyhood was made a thing of the past.
The couple states that the next steps will be to prevent their son from going through puberty since he does not want to be a boy.
“Medically transitioning involves a lot of different stuff and every transgender person chooses their own adventure. For Rebekah, the first steps will be puberty blockers, which will prevent her from going through male puberty and stop her from developing male characteristics—like facial hair, a deeper voice and an Adam’s apple—that are irreversible,” Jamie outlined.
Christopher Bruesehoff, pictured with his son holding a sign reading “I am transgender and God loves me,” says that he worries how the Church will react to his son identifying as a girl.
“Our hopes for Rebekah’s future are that she gets to be who she is as boldly as she wants to be, and that folks are going to accept her for who she is,” he stated. “I’m always worried about reactions with Rebekah, both in the community, the church and the world. I’m very worried about how the world is going to treat her because I see a lot of ugliness in the world.”
While the couple has received messages from Christians who have expressed concern, Jamie Bruesehoff contends that there is nothing wrong with transgenderism and that God created their son to be transgender.
“Yes, my husband is a pastor. In fact, we both have masters degrees from theological institutions. Yes, we both wholeheartedly support our daughter,” she wrote on social media. “No, don’t worry, we’re not concerned we’re going to Hell for doing so, but thank you for your concern.”
“She was created by God. She was fearfully and wonderfully made to be exactly who she is, a transgender child of God,” she asserted.
However, not everyone believes that the answer to gender dysphoria is allowing the person to change their physical appearance. Walt Heyer lived as Laura Jensen for eight years and even had a job with the U.S. government while living as a transgender, but says that having a physical operation did nothing to resolve the mental and emotional struggles that he faced.
One day while studying psychology at the University of California, Heyer had an epiphany: He wasn’t a transgender. He was a man with a psychological problem that trying to live as a woman wasn’t going to fix. Heyer also learned that his answer wasn’t within himself; it was in Christ.
So, eight years after obtaining the operation, Heyer reverted back to living as a man, and now says he doesn’t believe that people are born transgender.
“Gender dysphoria is a psychological condition where you are dissatisfied with your gender,” he told the Daily Mail in 2015. “Nobody’s ever born a transgender. They’re manufactured as a result of something, a developmental childhood issue that has yet to be determined for many people. In retrospect, I can see that changing genders, quite frankly is just pure foolishness.”
Heyer says that those who struggle with the condition are not receiving proper care, and many medical professionals are too quick to agree to surgery.
“All of them have some level of depression, and we’re not treating them,” he lamented. “We’re just cutting off body parts and giving them a new name and a new gender. … [But] biologically, no one can transport to the other gender. It’s not even possible.”
The now 76-year-old man runs a website to compassionately help others who struggle with gender identity or are expressing regret over having a sex change operation.
“God designed man; He designed women,” he said in a video recorded in 2014. “God will redeem the lives of people who struggle with gender identity issues just like I did. He redeemed my life, and I’ve been free from it as a result of that.”