Q Conference Denver

Q Conference Denver February 24, 2016


I’m going to be writing and blogging about trans and gender stuff again over the next couple of months as I get ready for my presentation at Q Denver in April (it’s the 21-23, for anyone who’s interested in attending.)

There’s a lot of ground that I covered on my old blog that I don’t want to have to go over again, so if it’s a conversation that you’re interested in joining you may want to take a look:


I’ve been rooting around on the internet for Catholic resources aimed at helping transgender people and their parents. It’s a bit of wasteland. Most of the articles that you can find aren’t even intended to be helpful to someone who is dealing with this – as a community we seem to be more concerned with defending Catholic sexual ideology than with ministering to trans people.
I think that there are several key misconceptions about transfolks that fuel that largely negative response. I’d like to briefly treat six of them here.
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I wrote recently on being gender-queer, and I promised that I write about transsexuality.
Before I do that, I want to give some idea of where I’m coming from on this issue. I recently wrote a paper on transgender and transsexual issues, and how trans identities relate to the traditional Catholic teaching on essential sexual complementarity. The paper was 5000 words long. I could have written four times that. As the foundation for writing I talked to trans people, read their writings, and listened to the stories that they had to tell about themselves rather than just approaching their experience through the filter of the “experts.” I’ve seen my own experience presented by experts often enough to know that there is often something missing in an allegedly “objective” account, and that the something missing is usually the heart of the human person.
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The Unclean Spirit of Gender Ideology

There’s been some buzz around the internet lately about the concept of gender ideology, and Pope Francis referring to it as “demonic.” So I wanted to talk about what exactly “gender ideology” is, and how it relates to the experience of transfolk.
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Sex and Gender

I wanted to write a post on transgender/transsexual issues for the Day of Remembrance yesterday — but it wasn’t coming out right. I’m trying again today.
A couple of weeks ago, Ron received an e-mail from someone who was asking about trans people, and who wanted to know whether this is something that we’ll be covering at Spiritual Friendship. We tend to concentrate a lot on the LGB in LGBTQ, but the T, and to a lesser degree the Q, kind of get left out. The reason for this is simple: most of the writers here ID as L, G, or B. We don’t have any trans writers on board yet, and while I consider myself gender-queer that’s not really the same thing.
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Neither Man nor Woman

I’ve written a few posts about trans issues here and at Spiritual Friendship, and I’ve realized from my com-box that I probably need to help readers understand better where I’m coming from so that hopefully more of my Catholic readership will be able to follow me.

When I started looking at this issue I had a fairly typical traditional conservative Catholic point of view. I believed (and still believe) quite strongly in sexual complementarity, that sexual identity – male or female – matters tremendously in terms of the formation of personality, and that there is a serious theological dimension to the creation of humanity male and female.

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The Absurdity of Transgenderism: A Stern But Necessary Critique of The Witherspoon Article

 The Witherspoon Institute recently published an article by Carlos D. Flores that bills itself as “a stern but necessary critique” of the “absurdity of transgenderism.” The article attempts to refute the most common defences of trans identities, arguing in particular against the proposed legislation known as “Leelah’s Law” that would attempt to prevent parents from forcing trans kids into therapy to try to correct their gender identity.

The arguments that Flores presents are flawed on a number of levels, but there is one example that he discusses at some length that I would particularly like to engage with because it might provide a more helpful way for conservative Christians to think about and understand how we ought to respond to folks with trans conditions.

I’ve also written about it on Patheos here, here and here.

Image credit: qideas.org

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