Kataluna Enriquez, a 27 year old Filipino-American, and a transgender woman, has been named “Miss Nevada,” after beating out 21 biological females for the crown.
Enriquez will be the first biological man to compete for the Miss USA title. He had competed in transgender pageants before, but began competing against biological females in so-called “cisgender” pageants last year. Looking at pictures of Enriquez, it’s pretty obvious he’s undergone surgery to achieve the look he sports. As far as I can find out, there are no rules against plastic surgery for Miss USA or Miss Universe pageants, which I find interesting. But, it does beg the question as to how much surgery ought to be allowed. Transforming a man into looking like a woman must have required a considerable number of surgeries. Is that really fair to those who compete in pageants without the benefit of plastic surgery? How fair is it for women to allow biological men to compete against them in beauty pageants when their “beauty” is the creation of plastic surgery? Should the plastic surgeon share some of the winnings?
Of course, the other question is: How is it empowering to women to allow biological men to compete against them in beauty pageants in the first place? We have, as a culture and a political society, decided that transgender women are women. So, transgender women can use public facilities like dressing rooms, locker rooms, and even showers with biological women and girls, whether or not they’ve had surgery to “transition” them from men to women, creating situations where minor girls are expected to shower next to people who are obviously biological males. Transgender women can compete against women in sports, even though they hold an obvious advantage in muscle mass and physical strength. Now, transgender women can compete against women in beauty pageants, even though their beauty is largely the creation of plastic surgery. If anyone can explain to me how this is empowering for women, much less fair, I’m all ears.
Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals. The transcendentals are the ultimate desire of humans because they take us to God, who is the perfection of truth, goodness, and beauty. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “All creatures bear a certain resemblance to God, most especially man, created in the image and likeness of God. The manifold perfections of creatures — their truth, their goodness, their beauty — all reflect the infinite perfection of God. Consequently we can name God by taking his creatures’ perfections as our starting point, “for from the greatness and beauty of created things comes a corresponding perception of their Creator” (Wis 13:5). To destroy the truth, goodness, and beauty of created things, then, is to tamper with their resemblance to God. This is why mutilation is a grave evil, whether done to others or to one’s self. Mutilation is an action against the truth (the wholeness of a created thing), the goodness (the created thing as God has created it and its capacity to function in concert with its created purpose – ie: to destroy a bird’s ability to fly), and the beauty (mutilation is often practiced to destroy the beauty of a created thing, in order to humiliate) of one of God’s creations.
Clearly, mutilation is not the same thing as surgery to correct or improve a physical anomaly. Correcting a scoliosis or deviated septum, or amputating a gangrenous toe is not the same thing as chopping off someone’s arm as punishment for political opposition, female castration, or surgically removing one’s genitalia to conform with one’s gender dysphoria.
Transitioning from male to female or vice-verse is the opposite of reaching for the transcendentals in the desire to be in perfect relationship with God, to share in the divine nature. For a man to claim or insist that he is a woman is the opposite of truth. To claim the rights and privileges of the opposite sex is the opposite of goodness. And to deform one’s self in order to claim the image of the opposite sex is the opposite of beauty. All of this, and more, is doubtless why Pope Francis declared gender ideology as “demonic.” Rather than bringing us closer to God, and making us more truly His image and likeness, gender ideology and transgenderism takes us farther from God and farther from His image and likeness.
The near universal acceptance of gender ideology and transgenderism in our culture and even our politics will result in confusion and the subjugation of the rights and privileges of those who refuse to conform, or even of innocents who only want to live in a world consistent with reality. This will be manifested in smaller ways, such as schools choosing or no longer being allowed to sponsor traditional gender or gender-exclusive activities, to bigger ways like individual businesses being under threat of closing if they do not accommodate gender and transgender ideology, doctors and nurses having to choose between their personal ethics and submitting to laws or policies inspired by gender ideology, teachers being expected to embrace gender ideology, and churches and religiously sponsored institutions being put in a position of fighting to protect their doctrinal integrity.
Enriquez’ victory in the Miss Nevada pageant is only the next obvious step in the acceptance of a gender ideology that will dis-empower women and force those who are committed to truth, goodness, and beauty to choose between submission or losing their job, losing their business, losing their license to practice, and losing their personal integrity. The normalization of mental illness is not a good thing and will promote a culture of chaos. It is for the faithful to stand and speak the truth to a world that does not want to hear it. We must be prepared to face the consequences of being faithful.
Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.