I would appreciate a “reading list” of books, articles, journals and blogs that you think may be helpful in my learning more about the gender continuum. As an academic I am very disturbed by several things that I have read about: violence against non-conforming individuals who have rejected the binary ideas about gender ( Most particularly this seems to related to transgender women who may or may not be involved as sex workers). I am, as a Christian and a retired hospital chaplain, concerned about the intolerance within many dominations of Christian churches. It is my strongly held belief that God did not create “through-away” people and that ALL OF US ARE CREATED IN HIS IMAGE AND LIKENESS. I also believe that God ultimately, only requires (2) two things of us:
1. that we love Him/Her unconditionally
2. that we love others unconditionally ( or in more traditional language as we would love others as ourselves.
When I use Him/Her I realize that may be somewhat confusing to some particularly when we are told at death we will be the “bride of Christ”. It is important to realize that what God knows is much greater than we know in spite of the arrogance that we may bring to our understanding of God, the Bible or other common beliefs.
Thank you for any assistance you may be able to provide in my quest to understand how to make Christianity much more inclusive than it often seems or is.
First of all, I am very happy when I hear from people of faith who are allies of the LGBTQ+ community. I was raised Catholic, went to Catholic school, and attended church every Sunday for years and years. The underlying message that I learned from Christ was that we are loved and that whatever we do to the least of his people we do undo Him. The Gospel of Matthew is pretty clear when it was written “In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you”.
It’s pretty straight-forward which is why I am always surprised and disappointed when someone who calls themselves a follower of Christ is a bigot. To see people who call themselves Christians carrying signs that read “God hates______________” is not only hurtful but its wrong. As you said we are created in His image and Jesus’ whole thing was that we should love one another. He doesn’t hate anyone.
I’ll be honest, I am not aware of any books and websites that may be helpful in this regard, but this is where I am especially grateful for our community.
Anyone out there familiar with anything that could help? Please comment below.
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7 thoughts on “Ask Hannah!”
One can learn quite a lot by reading the blogs on T Central. Clare Flourish is a particularly good source for many academic concerns.
Austen Lionheart is a trans male Christian and has a couple of books and he has such a great perspective on this as you might imagine.
Myself as a Christian I struggled many years with my female side trying to set it aside thinking how can God love me if I do this and dress and such.
But finally I came to realize God looks inside of our hearts and what’s on the outside is just flesh but if we have love in our heart not only for Him but others then I’m pretty sure He’s ok with who we are
I recommend one book: My husband Betty – Love, sex and life with a crossdresser by Helen Boyd. (The author wrote a sequel after Betty transitioned: She’s not the man I married – Life with a transsexual husband. They are I believe still a couple.)
Penny from Edinburgh.
Hi Hannah, There is a very detailed, clinical analysis of the nature of being transgender in a series of books by GG Bollich PhD.
The series is titled Cross Dressing in Context.
Volume 1 Dress and Gender gives a very detailed explanation of the nature of cross dressing and why people feel the need to present in this way.
There is also:
Volume 2 Today’s Cross Dressing Realities
Volume 5 Transgender and Mental Health
Other volumes cover transgender and geography ( how it is accepted and understood in different countries), and transgender and religion ( how it is accepted by different faith traditions).
This series is detailed and clinical in nature although it is inclined to be a little repetitive as he tries to ensure thorough answers to each area under analysis.
You might also consider a book edited by Christina Beardsley and Michelle O’Brien titled This is My Body. Hearing the Theology of Transgender Christians. It contains a series of essays by transgender Christians.
I hope this might benefit your enquirer whose understanding of the acceptance and love of God for transgender people is enlightened and lovely to hear. May I wish them well in their work.
As an avid reader of trans related non-fiction and fiction I offer up favorites in the non-fiction realm.
Felix Conrad has examined and expressed very well issues that we all relate to. He has an easy to read style and is insightful. As a ‘trans’ person himself his offerings are spot on, IMHO.
Also, Annie Woodhouse – I’ve read many books on the topic of cross dressing and transgenderism. Many are written from an academic point of view by psychologists; fine if you want the scientific approach but also quite dry reading. Woodhouse did research in the UK and wrote what I think is the most complete and palatable volume on the subject. She covers societal aspects of gender, attended events, and interviewed numerous subjects including wives of CD’s. Unfortunately her book has been out of print for some time, but I think it can be purchased online from the usual sources.
I would feel remiss if I did not include Hannah in this list. The quality of her personal reflections and ruminations are self evident.
An older resource, when I was coming to terms with who I am, I found the writings of Lee Frances Heller, “Grace and Lace Letter”, very helpful and supporting. Frances passed at the turn of the century, but many of her writings have been archived and published.