Transfigured: A 40-day Journey through Scripture for Gender-queer and Transgender people

Suzanne DeWitt Hall has self-published several books talking about sex, sexuality, gender, and Christianity. As a cisgender, queer author, she admits that she is a observer to the transgender experience. Her concise introduction to gender and the Bible in Transfigured: A 40-day Journey through Scripture for Gender-queer and Transgender People (2018) is useful. However, I would recommend it “for” cisgender allies more than “for” gender-queer and transgender people.

The basic format of each entry is title, short scripture (sometimes more than one), prose text, and then a quote from someone (from historic saints to contemporary trans folk). Each entry runs about one page and not more than two, so this is neither a deep dive nor a lengthy exploration.

The strength of Transfigured is in the progression over the course of 40 days/entries. The content is broken up into chapters or sections with three to seven entries each. Each section has very short introductory comments in addition to the entries. There is also front matter and back matter, but these sections make up the core of the book:

  • First Things
  • Our Gender-full God
  • Biological Sex and Gender
  • Non-Binary Heroes: Eunuchs in the Bible
  • Clothing, Hair Cuts, and Adornments
  • Transformation
  • Free to Be

For those who have never even imagined how complex gender is in the Bible, this is a great starting point. It starts with ideas about nuance, humility, and feminine images of God. It then moves into gender complexity and eunuchs as a non-binary gender. It then circles back to gender expression and transformation, while closing with freedom in Christ.

To my mind, the result is an evocative journey (as the title suggests) through biblical gender more than a personal devotional–though it could be used either way. Again, it is written by a cisgender ally and sometimes word choice may grate with transgender folk who are not new to these issues.

There is no discussion guide that I can find for Transfigured, but I have heard of it being used as a curriculum and can see how that would work. However, it would be up to the group leader to plan the discussion and also provide additional background on biblical themes.

Using Transfigured as a group resource would mean that the group, generally, could have a really accessible resource, while the group leader provides additional content and perspective. For instance, the discussion leader might draw on books found on my Transgender and the (Christian) Bible resource list to make sure they have enough background to add depth to the discussion. Obviously, this would be more effective when transgender leadership is engaged. Transfigured is available for free as a part of Amazon Kindle Unlimited, which would be especially useful if that is how you are compiling content for your groups.

Christian Faith and Gender Identity: An OtherWise Reflection Guide is another affordable option you may want to consider, as it includes questions and definitions alongside 7 short devotional style chapters.

Compiled by Mx Chris Paige on July 13, 2021. Please be in touch with feedback and corrections. This blog is a work in progress!

One thought on “Transfigured: A 40-day Journey through Scripture for Gender-queer and Transgender people

  1. I do remember as a trans clergy person and theologian having read her draft before publication, and the author is married to a trans man as well: As a trans person, the author’s seeking trans input and citing trans writers adds a little more context to evaluate this work — although when I teach or make book recommendations, I prefer to boost trans authors. Thanks, Mx Chris Paige for your thoughts on this book and series.

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