Christian Faith and Gender Identity: Introduction by Mx Chris Paige

Christian Faith and Gender Identity: An OtherWise Reflection Guide by Mx Chris Paige is ready to launch! Amazon and Audible versions should go live this weekend. The audiobook and ebook versions are available now direct from the publisher. Here is the introduction to give you a taste!

Introduction

By Mx Chris Paige

I often say that OtherWise Christian: A Guidebook for Transgender Liberation is the book that I wish I had had when I first started exploring my gender identity in my late twenties. However, I also wonder if I would have needed to start with a more gentle introduction—something written with less concern about scholarship and the big picture, something that would start by helping me reflect on my own experience. This booklet is an attempt to fill that gap.

The author is a non-binary, transgender, OtherWise-identified person of European descent and Christian up-bringing in the United States, who has worked in and around transgender communities for more than 20 years. Nearly every perspective that I present here has been gleaned from others who have shared from their own generosity. I am writing Christian Faith and Gender Identity in the hopes that others will follow in our wake, sharing their own insights (with me and with one another).

The seven main chapters of Christian Faith and Gender Identity were originally written as a seven-day devotional series for Our Bible App and can still be found there. I am grateful for Crystal Cheatham’s invitation to write. This edition is an expanded version, including an afterword, definitions, an appendix of related modern-day psalms, and ample space for you to make notes.

In that first launch, I got the most pushback about my interpretations of the Rebecca and Joseph stories, along with many opinions about eunuchs. Please understand that this is an intentionally short reflection guide. You can find more detailed arguments about scripture and scholarship in OtherWise Christian: A Guidebook for Transgender Liberation. This book is not intended to be a final word on any part of the Christian Bible. I simply ask that you open yourself to the possibility that there may be non-traditional interpretations that honor these sacred texts and shed light on transgender lived experience.

Each chapter includes a focus verse, as well as a very short summary of the related context from the Christian Bible. You are encouraged to read and review the full biblical text on your own. There is much more to be said about each text that I reference. In lieu of a formal bibliography, there are also a variety of short notes that are intended to help you identify additional resources to further your exploration of scripture.

Since language and best practices are constantly changing, you may meet people who will argue with the language that I use here in one way or another. Please use your best judgment as to what makes sense in your particular context and social location. The definitions are also terms that you can look up on the internet to gain more understanding through blogs and other resources.

Most importantly, each chapter ends with reflection questions. In the paperback version, I have left blank space for you to capture questions that come up for you, to make note of conversations you might want to have or next steps you might want to take. I have attempted to create a starting point, but the journey is yours to make as you see fit. There is space to write your own story.

That said, I am here and would love to hear from you about your questions and concerns. You can reach me at otherwise.christian@gmail.com and follow me at otherwisechristian.com or on social media.

With gratitude,

Mx Chris Paige

For a more in-depth analysis around transgender and the Bible, don’t miss OtherWise Christian: A Guidebook for Transgender Liberation.

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