Omnigender: A Trans-religious Approach, 2001 and 2007

Virginia Mollenkott’s Omnigender: A Trans-religious Approach was the first book on transgender spirituality/theology by a mainstream press. Pilgrim Press (associated with the United Church of Christ) published Omnigender in May 2001.

The Other Side‘s May/June 2001 cluster of articles on transgender concerns was published almost simultaneously. Vanessa Sheridan’s Crossing Over was published a few months later in October 2001 by Pilgrim Press.

Previous relevant books included two self-published books by Vanessa Sheridan (The Cross and the Crossdresser and Cross Purposes) and the Fall 1996 issue of Open Hands. However, none of the earlier publications was widely available to the general public.

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Classical Jewish Gender, 2006

In OtherWise Christian: A Guidebook for Transgender Liberation, I mention Jewish traditions around gender, highlighting 6 different genders. The topic of gender in Jewish tradition deserves a book of its own and is beyond my personal expertise.

However, Rabbi Elliot Kukla is widely credited for bringing these traditions to light and related resources can be found on the TransTorah website:

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Open Hands, Fall 1996 issue

The Open Hands, Fall 1996 issue marks the beginning of what I calling the “transgender spring“–a season of blossoming interest in transgender faith experience.

This issue was truly a landmark for expanding the conversation around transgender experience. The one and only outside, faith-based resource cited was The Cross and the Crossdresser by Vanessa S. [sic]. It was not an oversight. Faith-based conversations about transgender experience were almost non-existent in 1996 outside of deeply hidden networks of transgender people (at the time, “TG/TS” for “transgendered and transexual”).

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The Cross and the Crossdresser: Personal Reflections on Crossdressing from a Christian Perspective, 1993

In 1993, Vanessa Sheridan’s 48 page book, The Cross and the Crossdresser: Personal Reflections on Crossdressing from a Christian Perspective, came out.

Standing on its own, The Cross and the Crossdresser precedes the “transgender spring” entirely as a ground-breaking work. By 1996, this little book was still the only outside faith-based resource listed in the Open Hands fall 1996 issue (though Vanessa’s 1996 Cross Purposes: On Being Christian and Cross-gendered) was mentioned in her bio. Continue reading “The Cross and the Crossdresser: Personal Reflections on Crossdressing from a Christian Perspective, 1993”

Crossing Paths: Where Transgender and Religion Meet, 2003

Crossing Paths: Where Transgender and Religion Meet was published in 2003 as a 114 page PDF by the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Office of Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Concerns.

While this UUA resource is not exclusively Christian, Crossing Paths was one of the first readily available PDF format anthology in the “transgender spring.” The PDF was originally available on the UUA’s website. However, the copy we link to is a copy retained on the Transfaith website.

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Transfaith Online, 1999

TransFaith Online began as a personal project of Mx Chris Paige in 1999.

The launch of TransFaith Online was a critical turn in networking for transgender Christians–an early step in what I am calling the “transgender spring.” Despite many years of neglect, TransFaith Online eventually became the #1 Google search result for “transgender Christian.”

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Mx Chris Paige

Mx. Chris Paige (pronouns they/them) was the publisher of The Other Side magazine when they published the ground-breaking May/June 2001 issue on transgender concerns, featuring Chris together with Virginia Mollenkott and Erin Swenson.

In 1999, Chris launched a small Angelfire (free-hosting, like GeoCities) website called “TransFaith Online” which many years later evolved into an organization called Transfaith, which is a widely known resource for transgender people of diverse spiritual and energetic practices.

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