Kris Irvin attends Brigham Young University, but is facing possible disciplinary action, even expulsion, if they choose to go through with their plan of having top surgery.
In order to attend BYU, which is owned by the Latter-day Saints (LDS) Church, one must have an endorsement by their bishop.
Upon learning of the transgender student’s desire for top surgery through Irvin’s GoFundMe page, Irvin’s bishop is threatening to revoke his endorsement.
“At what point do my breasts determine my level of membership in the church?” Irvin wrote in a letter to their bishop, Jake King.
“It’s not prerequisite that the church and church leaders accept elective transgender surgery in order to accept, love and serve LGBTQ+ members,” King wrote back to them last month. “I know that no surgery can bring you true peace and comfort in this life.”
Since top surgery does not alter one's sex, and they have no intention of undergoing gender confirmation surgery, also known as bottom surgery, Irvin argues that the surgery does not constitute a transition.
“Well, obviously he sees it differently,” Irvin’s husband, Nate, said. “And so do I.”
In addition to the possibility of being expelled from attending BYU, Irvin could have their church activities restricted from no longer being given the sacrament to possible excommunication from the church.
“I’m really close [to graduating]. I’m looking into transferring or trying to finish up as quickly as possible.”
It is unclear what is going to happen next, although Irvin said they wish to remain in the church.