Transgender Student Faces Unclear Future at Southern Adventist University

After Ariadna Bates came out publicly as transgender on February 2, all was quiet at first. The third-year student at Southern Adventist University had already come out as nonbinary in September 2021, an announcement that largely came and went without drama or repercussions. Yet now, she told her followers on Instagram and friends on Facebook, there was another chapter in her life. “Non-binary was safe,” Bates wrote. “But 6-year old me knew better. 12-year old me knew there was more to it. 18-year old me was terrified of intimacy with my partner because of what I had to come face to face with. 20-year old me knew, deep down, it wasn’t over with that coming-out post last semester.” Bates told her followers that from now on, she would use she/they pronouns and identify as female.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Decisions have consequences.

Thanks, Alex Amodt.

I don’t get this, and maybe there are just subtleties I’m missing.

But, suppose a student says, “I’m male, genetically and physically, but, in my mind, I feel like I’m ‘a female in a male body’ — my male body has always felt alien to me, and I’m only comfortable when I make myself look as female as I possibly can.”

If a student makes a statement to that effect, what is the university’s interest in highly monitoring their clothes?

This is not rhetorical.

Said another way, I think bodily dysphoria is real. It seems to be some form of mental illness or disorder. I don’t see it as something to be “celebrated,” except as some ease of one’s discomfort.

And to be clear: I also think “transgender” is a misnomer, and the pronouns which accompany the phenomenon are courtesies, not verities. I don’t think a person can be trans gender any more than I believe a spaceship can be supra luminal. In both instances, there are intricate, natural barriers in place which human beings presently know little about getting beyond.

In other words, I don’t believe males can become females, or vice versa. I do, though, believe both males and females, to quote author Ryan T. Anderson (When Harry Became Sally), can be, respectively, feminized or masculinized. Given this, I find the debate about people who were born males having access to women’s bathrooms, or competing in women’s sports, a butchery of reality; a mindless acquiescence to fictions.

But, all said, if a student says this is their subjective state, what does Southern expect to enforce: The image of Christ? What does Christ command when someone says, “My body is male, but I feel female?”


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I agree. I hope Southern’s decision about Ms. Bates’ continuing education is kind and compassionate.


It would be good for those who make decisions on Ms. Bates’ future to remember that the Ethiopian eunich, whose presumed surgery had an effect on his masculinity, was considered a worthy target of evangelism and inclusion.


Praise the Lord for deciding to give life to males and females and allowing them the freedom to choose His plan for humanity. Our Creator has blessed us with healthy and wholesome opportunities. I imagine Southern will choose with wisdom to maintain a healthy and wholesome normalcy. Don’t you think they are allowed to identify as God’s servants?
Guard your heart, your body, and your neighbor from the evils of the Deceiver, the master of confusion.

Thanks, @mwortman1.

If the parallel is Ariadna Bates is worthy of evangelism and inclusion, I can agree with this statement.

I’d also note: Whatever the eunuch’s masculinity suffered as an effect of surgery — we cannot say — you utilized the male possessive, “his,” to speak of it. In other words, there was no subsequent castration of ontology.



This situation is completely unnecessary. Southern is spitting into the wind. And, hello… “Sexual Integrity Committee?” This is a gender identity/expression issue. What rock have these people crawled out from under? Adventist universities need to say to the denomination, “We believe and will teach church doctrines on human sexuality and gender, but we serve a wide variety of students and are charged with their wellbeing. Therefore, our policies will be welcoming to sexual and gender minorities, and we will do whatever is necessary to protect their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.” I am so tired of seeing the harm that conservative Christians are willing to inflict in the name of their God, and I’m pretty sure He is, too.


All Adventist colleges have been living in fear of Title IX. Violating Title IX can result in loss of Federal financing of a student’s education at a particular school. So for years, there has been discussion about whether to stick with perceived principles or do what it takes to keep the money flow going. I say “perceived principles” because I’m not sure what principle Southern would base its positions/policies on. The principle of love and acceptance? The principle that we must discriminate in various ways against people with sexual fluidity? The principle of “what will the constituents think?” The principle of what the Union or the Division or the GC president thinks? I’m curious what principles are in play and what principles will prevail.


Maybe the Rock Of Ages?
I’m sure we all agree that a decision to change one’s gender preference is quite unacceptable. Every time a person uses the restroom or shower reality occurs. We must guard our hearts and friends from confusion and deception from the great deceiver.

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Well, Guardyerhart, maybe you should also guard you mind, as it seems you have been misinformed.

Gender identity is not a “preference” subject to one’s “decision,” as I’m sure those who are informed would “all agree.” Gender is about more than one’s genitalia; it has cultural and psychological components, as well. One’s sense of gender identity emerges very early in life, between the ages of 3-5. Even Adventist specialists at Loma Linda University will attest to mounting medical evidence that this cross-gender identification has roots in developmental processes in utero. So, brain biology, not just sexual anatomy, has a role to play.

It may all seem like “confusion” to you, but the processes of gender differentiation in human development are highly complex, and within a small segment of the population deviations from the norm do occur. Not all of the gender variant thoughts and behaviors seen in childhood result in a transgender identity that persists beyond puberty (roughly 75% come into alignment). But for that 25%, this is a pervasive, consistent, persistent, and insistent reality that cannot be ignored or changed with any amount of prayer or talk therapy.

So, please stop demonizing this situation (i.e. “deception from the great deceiver”). The Rock of Ages has been talking to me, too, and he is not pleased with how this young person is being treated.


The greatest want is the want of men who cannot be bought or sold.
We must always be vigilant with the life God has given us and with honesty serve our fellow-man and ourselves. Do not be dishonest with even yourself. Praise the Lord for your health and life. Live for Him! Stand against the deceptions of the evil one, the master of disguise. Do not be confused by how God has blessed you with the body and soul He has gifted you with.

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When you don’t have the ammunition, one tends to resort to platitudes.


Ammunition leads to death. Words of character leads to growth and development.

“…leads to growth and development”. That is exactly what the article and responses are about. Be stagnant or dynamic, one can make the choice. Your position could carry more weight if you had data to support it, don’t just say the Bible tells me so. Be specific.

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Jaray, 2ndopinion, ereifsnyder,

Ponder this and then respond with some logic, common sense, and biological science. But again, I must repeat that being honest is a call for mankind to stand against the deceptions of the evil one. To know is to understand. To not know allows for constant change and confusion like always standing on sand rather than a solid rock. The sand moves with the water as the water overcomes it.

Why do transgender beliefs determine reality?

Determining reality is the heart of the matter with transgenderism and is filled with contradictions.

On the one hand, transgender activists want the authority of science as they make metaphysical claims, saying that science reveals gender identity to be innate and unchanging. On the other hand, they deny that biology is destiny, insisting that people are free to be who they want to be.

Which is it? Is our gender identity biologically determined and immutable, or self-created and changeable? If the former, how do we account for people whose gender identity changes over time? Do these people have the wrong sense of gender at some time or other?

And if gender identity is self-created, why must other people accept it as reality? If we should be free to choose our own gender reality, why can some people impose their idea of reality on others just because they identify as transgender?

The true trans is found in Romans 12:2,

Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Still no data, just an opinion and platitudes! Your opinions, your right to have, but it does give you any right to cast aspersions on others of Gods children. The science is out there, a quick google will work. Logic is also, cancer is a biological aberration, do you consider that an ‘evil deception’? I would suppose not. The real issue is that we are talking about SEX, a very frightening subject to many, especially in the conservative thought world.


So you can’t answer the questions that I posted then. Oh well.

Its called not accepting that the questions have already been answered! No rabbit holes for me, Thank you!

Unfortunately for “transgenderism” it is not acceptable to God. God man man and from man he made women. There is no prevision in the word for men who desire to be women. In fact regarding Hair men should have short hair and women long hair. If you are born a man you are a man. That said we are called to love and in all cases love requires the truth.