Christianity and Transgender People — #TransWeek

November 15, 2017

Even as scientific research continues to reinforce the “biological basis for transgender identity” (read this Scientific American article for just one example), many conservative Christians continue to invalidate the experience of trans people and insist that gender identity always aligns with biological sex.

It’s easy to understand the importance of holding fast to this dangerous and hurtful position when one considers that the gender binary is the foundational element of patriarchal Christianity. The very existence of trans (and intersex) people undermines the gender binary, and thus undermines the entire structure of conservative Christianity and other similar examples of religious systems of male dominance.

But there’s good news.  More and more Christians are heeding the compassionate urging of Spirit, and learning to honor and support their trans siblings in Christ.

I hope you enjoy reading today’s informative articles:

“Whether we know it or not, transgender people are already a part of our church communities. As of 2016, at least 1.4 million adults in the U.S. identify as transgender, and 66 percent of trans people have been a part of a faith community at some point in their life. Unfortunately, 1 in 5 trans people of faith reported leaving their faith community due to rejection.” 
Just As I Am: Against the odds, transgender Christians persevere” by Austen Hartke (Sojourners)

“There is ample evidence that people who don’t conform to gender norms are not only accepted but celebrated throughout the Scriptures.” 
Queer Theology’s “Transgender and Christian?” article. 

“But these negative reactions also suggest an important difference in understandings about what gender identity and sexuality actually mean—and indicate how difficult it will be to reconcile transgender identity with the beliefs of certain Christians, both culturally and politically.”
The Real Christian Debate on Transgender Identity” by Emma Green (The Atlantic)

 

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Marg Herder

Marg Herder is the Director of Public Information for EEWC-CFT, a Christian feminist organization working for gender (and LGBTQIA) justice in Christianity since 1974. She is the content manager and developer of the organization’s website, Christian Feminism Today. Marg identifies as a trans* lesbian writer, musician, and feminist spiritual seeker. She works to draws attention to the ongoing violence directed at women and LGBTQIA people in this “Christian” society, the desperate need for an understanding of God that includes the Divine Feminine, and Christ/Sophia’s desire that each of us move deeper into our own practice of non-violence.

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