Transgender and Christian 101

I’ve mentioned Queer Theology a couple of times already on this blog. I also recommend Queer Theology as a great resource in Appendix A of OtherWise Christian: A Guidebook for Transgender Liberation.

Well, I was skimming through some of their articles and realized they have a really wonderful introductory series, talking about transgender-affirming Christianity. Good enough that I want to highlight this set of articles…

Some of the articles are written by Brian Murphy, who is a cisgender, gay man. Some of the articles are written by Fr Shannon Kearns, who is a transgender man. It’s actually directed at a mix of trans folk and allies, who sometimes need to hear the same thing and sometimes don’t. I’m going to list this blog entry under “Curriculum/Study Guide” because I believe that the collection of articles could be use that way.

Exploring Christianity and Transgender Issues

  • “In conversations about “homosexuality and the Bible” transgender people are often left out entirely. Same with the conversations about ordaining and welcoming LGB people into the life and ministry of the church.”

If God doesn’t make mistakes, then why are you transgender?

  • “Does God make mistakes? Maybe God wanted me to be born a transgender man because God wanted me to learn all of the lessons I’ve learned and be exactly who I am. 

That is an answer I can live with.”

Is it OK to be transgender and Christian?

  • “There is ample evidence that people who don’t conform to gender norms are not only accepted but celebrated throughout the Scriptures.”

How do you reconcile your trans identity with your religion?

  • “You don’t actually have to reconcile your faith and your sexuality/transness. Not really. What you need to do is free your mind from the narrow view that says there is only one way to understand Christianity.”

Learning to Love Your Transgender Siblings (and Your Transgender Self)

  • “You are not sinful and sick. You are beautiful and holy and whole. I know it can be hard to believe it sometimes, living in a world that so often screams the opposite. But it’s true.”

Listen to transgender people

  • “When it comes to “transgender issues” and “the Church,” we must first, always, turn our ears and hearts toward what transgender people are actually saying. Because they are saying a lot.”

How to tell if your church is welcoming for transgender people

  • “Many churches that have done a lot of work on gay and lesbian issues haven’t bothered to study anything about transgender people. They have outdated language on their websites or don’t mention transgender issues at all.”

Is your church working in solidarity with trans people?

  • It’s important to remember that being an ally is an on-going process, not a one-time declaration. It’s a commitment to a lifetime of growth and learning.”

What I learned about faith & justice from my transgender friends

  • “You can’t just go find some transgender person to befriend so that they’ll magically teach you how to be a better person. But if you’re committed to justice, especially if you’re committed to the vision of justice you see in the Bible, than you are called to be in relationship. You are called to an embodied faith.”

Transgender People and the Image of God

  • “God’s image reflects the diversity of all of God’s creation. Creation that, since the beginning, God has declared good. Transgender people are absolutely the image of God. And we are beautiful.”

A Love Letter to Transgender People from a Transgender Priest

  • “God loves you not in spite of your transness but because of it. God has gifted you with your unique and beautiful identity.”

Building My Body. Building My Home

  • “My body is mine, now. I’ve been building it over the last decade into a home for myself, a place where I can rest and feel at peace. A place that feels like it belongs to me.”

Seasonal Reflections

Open Letter to Faith Leaders on Transgender Day of Remembrance

  • “According to Matthew, Jesus said, not a sparrow falls from heaven without God seeing it, and how much more are we than sparrows. God sees us. I am asking that you, also, see us. God cares for us. I am asking that you, also, show care for us.”

What Queer and Trans Christians Know About Advent

  • “We know what it’s like to be waiting. And wanting. We know what it’s like to be in a liminal space; the space of the closet, the beginning stages of transition, the time between coming out and being recognized. And we know that the liminal spaces, as much as they suck sometimes, also make us stronger, teach us to fight, and help us to be ready to stand in our truth.”

Lent as a body honoring practice

  • “There is something holy in this time of Lent. It is a time of walking in the wilderness with Jesus. It’s a time of journeying with him to Jerusalem and to crucifixion. For many queer and trans* people we know well the feeling of being in the wilderness.”

Walking Toward Resurrection: A Transgender Passion Narrative

  • “Over the course of several months I wrote the Transgender Passion Narrative and it saved my faith. It was the first time in a long time that I felt emotionally engaged with God and with theology.”

More Resources

ALSO Transgender and the Christian Bible

ALSO Transgender Christian (auto)Biographies

ALSO Transgender Christian Oral Histories

Compiled by Mx. Chris Paige on August 24, 2019

Note: This blog is intended to be an on-going work in progress. Please contact us if you have corrections or are able to contribute further context or reflections.

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