"The disfigurement of the human body through piercing and tattooing is depraved activity. The mutilation of the body through dismemberment, castration, etc., to become what one is not, is even more depraved."
The implications of this quote are interesting. What exactly is "disfigurement"? Does this standard include pierced ears and plucked eyebrows, or are those beautifications of the human body? I don't know, and it doesn't make much difference to me where he draws the line, because it does seem pretty clear that Jose is referring to people like me, and that he would include the facial laser and electrolysis that has removed my beard and the hormone therapy that's done such a great job of growing breasts, softening skin, and redistributing body fat. Which makes me a full-blown member of the "pro-death and depravity" culture.
It's when I see things like this that I'm very grateful for NVC. It's pretty easy to guess that Jose has needs for sanctity, predictability, and probably beauty that aren't met when he looks around and sees people getting tattoos and sex-reassignment surgery. What's not to like about those needs? Is there anyone out there who doesn't share them? I know I have them, in spades, though I'd choose to meet them in a different way. So, as I empathize with the needs behind his judgment, I feel not hurt, not angry, but sadness that my own need for being understood isn't met. It's a good, clean sadness, and a small one, because that need is met so thoroughly in so many other ways in my life.
I also find this interesting for the Catch-22 it sets up for me. (Not that I'm embracing it! I'm just fine as I am, thank you.) I didn't start the process of transition out of any desire for depravity – if anything, quite the opposite. Nor do I or anyone I know choose transition for the fun of it, because believe me, it's not fun. We do it for survival. When I reached the point where I simply could not go on as I was, I chose transition because the only other choice I could reasonably make was suicide or psychic anesthesia*. The result has been completely positive in my personal life and primarily positive in my social life. My kids like me better, most of the people I know like me better, I have more friends, the genuinely depraved sexual fantasies that used to torment me are gone, and the list of benefits goes on and on.
So Jose would leave me with no choice except depravity. Suicide, drunkenness, or transition. And I suspect he's not alone. I'm guessing it is this judgment that makes so many Christians despise transpeople.
I have no doubt, though, that he would not recognize this as the choice offered. I'm guessing he'd say there was also the choice to live as a godly man, that prayer and fasting would "cure" me, or something like. That's okay. He can't see my heart, and he has no idea of reality in which I've lived my life. But it's sad, because it prevents him from bearing witness to the beauty and travail that are my life. It's sad because it's a judgment that prevents understanding and withers compassion.
*psychic anesthesia is alcohol and drugs - those things that point the way to oblivion.