Resources (Trans)

Which way now?
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As one might expect there are fewer websites dealing solely with being a Trans Christian when compared with those dealing with being a Lesbian or Gay Christian, but many of the latter also deal with other parts of the LGBTQ+ spectrum, and frequently include LGBTQ+ theology.  The sites below are, in the main, Trans centric, and there are further useful links on the other General LGBTQ+ Resource page.  Anyway, here are a few resources and sites, starting with two books, worth exploring:

  • The New Woman” by Charity Norman. First published in Great Britain in 2015 by Allen & Unwin.  Paperback ISBN 978 1 74331 875 1.  E-book ISBN 978 1 92526 671 9.  Charity Norman volunteered for several years on the New Zealand Lifelines helpline, where she encountered many transgender people as part of her work.  This novel grew from the stories she heard from people she spoke to on that helpline.  This book received enthusiastic praise despite it’s difficult subject matter when Charity Norman appeared on Simon Mayo’s “Drivetime” Book Club.  I cannot recommend this highly enough, because it presents a real-life context and scenario for someone struggling with gender dysphoria, not just portraying the doubts and fears of being in a situation they can’t control, but describing the very real reactions of family and friends.  This is a brilliant introduction to the issues if you have never come across gender dysphoria – a must read!  It has no theological angle though there is one passage that gets very close to presenting a beautiful picture of Christ.
  • Trading Places: When Our Son Became a Daughter” by Jane Baker. Although I haven’t read it, this book was strongly recommended to me as a “trans resource for parents”, by a minister I met on a Pride march. (Thank you for letting me know.) From the reviews, many other folks will also find it hugely helpful. At the time of writing the book only seems to be available on Amazon, but of the 23 reviews, 88% were 5-star, with the remainder at 4-stars, and that is rare. You can read a review here: https://diversechurch.website/home/tradingplaces and buy/read further reviews here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Trading-Places-Daughter-Mothers-Transition/dp/0990626709/ref=sr_1_1. I might have to change some plans and move this book nearer to the top of the 15+ books waiting for me to read!
  • If you haven’t seen it, watch the film The Danish Girl starring Eddie Redmayne.  Not perfect, but very helpful.
  • https://www.bibleandhomosexuality.org/what-does-the-bible-say-about-transgender-people/ Rev’d Dr Jonathan Tallon is a New Testament lecturer and early Church researcher, who is the host of an excellent website exploring the LGBTQ+ issues and I recommend you spend time reading through his material, especially if you have questions. He has created a brilliant set of videos (covering all LGBTQ+ issues), which are superbly helpful, and I recommend that you watch them – you won’t regret it: https://www.bibleandhomosexuality.org/ 
    He has transcripts and notes linked to each of his videos which help a lot. This is another of those sites I wish I had stumbled on earlier, and why I have included a reference to it on this page as well as on the main Resources page in both the Video and Website sections.
  • MindLine Trans+ 0300 330 5468, based in Bristol, but they are “a national helpline, you can call us from anywhere in the UK”. https://bristolmind.org.uk/help-and-support/mindline-transplus/. “The MindLine Trans+ provides a safe place to talk about your feelings confidentially. We don’t record calls nor ask for any personal details. Our listeners will try understand the multitude of feelings and concerns that may be going on for you. We are here to listen and offer our support.”
  • For any US friends: Trans Lifeline (https://www.translifeline.org/) is a trans-led organization that connects trans people to the community, support, and resources they need to survive and thrive. Available 7am-1am PST / 9am-3am CST / 10am-4am EST. Call 877-565-8860.
    If you know of a reputable UK or European helpline, please contact me.
  • https://www.transcentralpa.org/resources.cfm  TransCentralPA is an American-based company committed to providing advocacy and caring support for transgender individuals, their significant others, families, friends and allies. TransCentralPA also provides gender education and information to businesses, organizations, educational institutions and governmental agencies.
  • https://transgenderlawcenter.org  TLC are a non-profit organization American-based company dedicated to engaging in effective advocacy for transgender people in society.  The TLC brings experts and advocates together to work on law and policy initiatives designed to advance transgender equality.  “Founded in 2002, Transgender Law Center (TLC) has grown into the largest trans-specific, trans-led organization in the United States. Our advocacy and precedent-setting litigation victories—in areas including employment, prison conditions, education, immigration, and healthcare—protect and advance the rights of transgender and gender nonconforming people across the country. Through our organizing and movement-building programs, TLC assists, informs, and empowers thousands of individual community members a year and builds towards a long-term, national, trans-led movement for liberation.”
  • https://whosoever.org/  Founded in 1996 and respected by many major figures within the LGBTQ+ community.  There is a wealth of good materials on the site which was relaunched around Christmas 2019. but includes historic articles going back to 1996.  Please go and explore their material, which I highly commend, because it is produced in a professional and educated manner. Material includes regular blogs covering almost any issue you can think of. They have a good search function so that if you want to search for anything on their site you get good results. I did a search for “transgender” and there were 68 pages of links
  • https://www.qchristian.org/ They say: “We are a diverse community with varied backgrounds, cultures, theologies and denominations, drawn together through our love of Christ and our belief that every person is a beloved child of God.” There is a growing amount of resources being produced , much of it free, but they are keen that folk help fund the production of the materials. They are a very active site, and if you want to keep in touch with them, they’ll send you regular emails.
  • http://queergrace.com/  An online encyclopaedia for LGBTQ and Christian life. This is still active though I suspect not very, because they are still using the web link http rather than more secure https protocol.
  • https://www.stonewall.org.uk/truth-about-trans This is a helpful background piece on Trans and Trans attitudes.

And a fun one to finish with.  Consider the Kobudai fish which can change gender as shown on the BBC series “Blue Planet 2”.  If changing genders is so very wrong, why did God create this fish? https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2gCkNYpCZVSZTpr5tsqlfjn/filming-fish-that-change-sex. It’s not the only one, others being: Asian Sheepshead Wrasse, Clown Fish, Sea snails, Hawkfish, Black Sea Bass and Mushroom Corals, whilst other creatures are hermaphrodite (having both male and female sex organs).