Some local pastors are suggesting that Tshepo Ricki Kgositau, who has launched a landmark case against government for refusing to change her gender marker, needs deliverance.
Kgositau wants to be recognised and addressed as a woman. She was born a male. Her case will be heard before Gaborone High Court Judge Leatile Dambe on 12 December 2017. It had to be postponed from last week as Dambe is out of the country.
In an interview, Pastor Matthew Makola of Grace Church in Kanye says Kgositau should confess her sin to God for changing her gender identity. He says that Kgositau should know that ‘after God created her, He saw her as good like the rest of His creation.’ He questions her motive for transforming her identity.
“In the beginning God created man and woman and they never changed how they were made. Kgositau should repent and survive hell,” he says, citing Genesis 1 to explain how God created human beings. Another church leader Prophet Kgolagano Nokaneng of Divine says that it is the work of Satan for a human being to change her gender identity.
He states that a man who wants to be a woman brings confusion to the society. “If he felt inside that he was a woman, she should have sought deliverance from churches and not done expensive surgeries. Now the attention following her will stick forever,” he says.
But for Pastor Lucas Mthethwa of St. John Apostolic Church, God loves sinners but hates sin. He says that people who have gender identity issues should run to God and not surgeries. “What is she going to tell her children? That she was a man first and did a surgery? We need God more than ever,” he says, adding that God still loves Kgositau but wants her to make things right with Him.
“She needs to be prayed for,” he says.
Speaking to a sister publication recently, The Midweek Sun, Kgositau noted that she did not take kindly to being referred to as a man regardless of the circumstances.
“I don’t appreciate how certain members of society have continued to address me as a ‘he’ instead of a ‘she.’ I gave my time to some people, opening myself up and sharing intimate details of my life but my experiences are being sensationalised,” she said.
Coordinator of the Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana Caine Youngman says pastors should refrain from questioning Kgositau’s decision, and rather preach love. “God has a purpose for transgender people too, that’s why He created them,” he says, adding that Kgositau is a Christian.
The biggest claim of the transgender movement is that a man who thinks he’s a woman can really be a woman, and vice versa. This manifests in many ways — from preferred pronouns, sex reassignment surgeries, and demands to use the restroom of perceived rather than given gender.