Friday, June 15, 2012

When Transwomen Go To Church

tyler_perry_2012-06-15 Aundaray Guess has an interesting post on The Huffington Post about Tyler Perry's film character Madea and the faith communities.

"It's no secret that in the black church there is a great divide over LGBT issues. Although Madea is not transgender, there are aspects of the character that raise questions about acceptance of black transgender women. Many gay men can blend in without being marked as gay, but for many women who are transgender, it is more difficult to blend in and avoid ignorance or rejection from faith communities. Whether transgender or gay, to be accepted in the church one has to 'butch' oneself up, but even then one wouldn't be fully accepted but relegated to the fringe instead. Or one could just join the choir, where there's a sort of unofficial don't ask, don't tell' policy."

Read the rest of the post here.

My Two Cents

Although, Mr. Guess restricts his discussion to the black church, I believe that transgender women and men run into similar walls of rejection in other faith communities.

For example, I attended Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral en femme without incident (mainly because I was under the radar). However, I doubt if my presence in the Catholic Church would be accepted with open arms if it was known that I was a transgender woman.

What Would Jesus Do?

I am aware that there are other churches that do accept transwomen with open arms, but not the one I attended the first three-quarters of my life.

I truly believe that Jesus would accept me; it’s too bad that many of his followers would except me.


  1. Sad, but I fear true. so much of what happens in and around churches is based on practise rather than solid biblical scholarship, that whether liberal or conservative theology rules any will find it hard to truly accept us.

  2. AnonymousJune 15, 2012

    Interesting article found about Transgenderism, transsexualism, gender dysphoria, & gender identity: Also use your favorite search site and 'Catholic Church and Transgenderism'. Various views on the subject.

  3. Dear Stana,

    I'm a devout atheist , so the issue doesn't affect me personally. Still, I've no idea what position on transgendered people the Catholic Church has taken.

    There's a message board I frequent and on which I'm "out." I've established a kind of cordial relationship with a Catholic Priest (the board is about Vegas and gambling). So far he's made no mention about it and I haven't asked. We've bumped heads on religion, as he promotes his and I oppose them all impartially :) But aside from that we get along rather well.

    Last May some of the baord members got together in Vegas. The priest couldn't make it, and he mentioned he regreted missing the opportnity to meet me. But, really, as far as I know he may not even be aware of my "status." FWIW.

  4. This fits with my belief that there is a clear distinction between Christianity, where you ask yourself "What would Jesus do?" and Churchianity, where you do and think what the church tells you.

    “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” - Mahatma Gandhi

  5. As I always put it: "Christian is as Christian does".

    As a fairly lax Anglican I don't expect any issues if I come out to my vicar. If she did kick up I'm certain I could raise hell with the bishop over equality laws anyway.

    The United Reformed Church in town holds a monthly LGBT evening service. Some of the people I've met there have awful tales to tell of rejection from their churches, usually at more evangelical sects.

  6. Thou art the Christ. The word really means the entire human race is the "Son" of "God".Thee is no gender in the Kingdom and the Kingdom is within Me.Whatever God is I AM. I see this "Christ" or Spirit of God in every living Being. My God is the allness of everything and everyone. I am ok with all who disagree as well
    I love you all I know who you are for I am that too.

  7. Stana,
    I am a practicing Catholic. Some might say I am a devout Catholic. I have talked to a priest about my being transgendered in the context of the confessional. He was not concerned about it at all. I have been on forums where this has been discussed and others have found that the Catholic church is accepting of us. One even spoke with her bishop about it (as if a bishop has a better take on it than others.)

    God made us this way and he loves us. A true Christian would remember the second great commandment "Love your neighbor as yourself".

    I have gone to church en femme more times than I can count without any issues. For a while I was able to go to daily Mass en femme. I was accepted by the couple of dozen people that routinely went to Mass. The conversations were normal conversations about the weather but a few also noted that I dressed well - I usually went in a skirt or dress. But through it all, no negative comments.

    To conclude, you are right Jesus does accept you. You were made in His image and likeness. What clothes you wear is not relevant to you being loved by Him. Please be at peace with the Lord with respect to your gender and move on to deal with the rest of your spiritual life.



  8. So nice to hear what Leann said as I was raised catholic but now that I have accepted myself as a androgyne, its only right to show up for mass who I really am. To show up otherwise is a false face, ungenuine, not how I really am. I of course have serious butterflies over that but I have to be the real me or I am a phony. So what is it going to be? A common dilema amoungst us tgirls with spiritual leanings?

  9. AnonymousJune 18, 2012

    This is a very tricky subject. I've been in most every kind of church from the UU COC Methodist and the like even an Evangelical. It's become my conclusion that most god fearing people are accepting of people that are in some manner different (the "I need to be a good person by not judging, and this only effects me a tiny bit factor") and that even ministers have, (one very Catholic one) said do me god has created each of us in his* imagine. (*I don't think of god as him or her). It's the bigger picture that we trip on, that affirmation of us by thus said church and not it's parishioners that get us ever time. Politics is the bane to most truth.

  10. Stana,

    This post and the comments show what a wonderful and respectful blog you have created in Femulate.

    Leann's comments and experience are particularly on target. The "Times, They are A-Changin". Have patience and faith. I have been in many churches, both Catholic and many others. My experience is that most religious give more than lip service to the virtue of tolerance. I have never been in a church while dressed but my sense is that I would be safe and accepted.

    I have a person close to me who for the past decade has trained, studied and was eventually ordained as a Catholic Deacon. Part of his training and ordination called for him to pick a particular vocational focus. He chose the goal of working towards increasing inclusiveness in the Church of LGBT people. The focus of his outreach is to bring LGBT Catholics back into the church. Making them comfortable. Doing what he can to make sure that they know that they are loved and appreciated by the Lord and the Church as they are.

    This Deacon is happily married over 30 years and has several children. Several years ago I was in his office and noticed a photo of him wearing a dress. At one point I heard one of his daughters quip that he became a Deacon so he could 'wear a dress'. He may be one of us...I do not know.

    What I do know is that we are all children of the Lord and the Jesus loves us all.