Transgender Prof Dismissed from Azusa Pacific University

Transgender Prof Dismissed from Azusa Pacific University September 25, 2013
Theology professor Heather Ann Clements…
…is transitioning to H. Adam Ackley

From RNS:

A California Christian college has asked a professor who was once its chair of theology and philosophy to leave Azusa Pacific University after he came out as transgender.

Heather Clements taught theology at the school for 15 years, but this past year, he has begun referring to himself as H. Adam Ackley.

H. Adam Ackley says, “As I continued my social transition at the end of my sabbatical before coming back to campus, I sought compromise: I cut but continued to die [sic] my hair.”

Ackley, who is in his third year of a five-year contract, told RNS that he and APU have agreed to part ways as the university said it will continue to pay him through the academic year. But, he said, the university wants other professors to take over his classes. He also said that his insurance was denied when he sought hormone treatment and “top surgery” for his chest area.

“They’re giving me privacy to transition but denying medical treatment to do that,” said Ackley who is 47 years old.

APU spokesperson Rachel White declined to discuss Ackley’s employment, saying that the issue is ongoing and personnel matters are confidential. Ackley said he is meeting with a university lawyer on Monday.

Read the rest: Transgender theology professor asked to leave California Christian college after coming out | Religion News Service.

Here’s an really intriguing sermon by Ackley about his experience:

And while we’re at it, here’s a story on gender from the Today Show that really touched me:

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Tom McCool

    Employer’s health insurance should not pay for this.

  • memckimmy

    As a fellow pastor in the Church of the Brethren (the denomination in which Adam is ordained) his sermon warms my heart and gives me hope, even knowing that as progressives we’re a minority in a tradition that leans more conservative.

    We’ve also been in GLBT-related news on the other side of the country recently, when a friend of mine lost his job for officiating a same-sex wedding in Pennsylvania.

    The struggle toward inclusion and justice for all people continues …

  • Mike H.

    So a conservative seminary dismisses a transgender professor. What if a liberal seminary dismisses a professor that believes in traditional marriage only? Would that be the same? It seems like inclusion only goes one way. Just wondering.

  • JohnHousecat

    Wow, 47’s pretty late to begin transitioning these days, but kudos. Unfortunately he doesn’t seem to have the RIGHT insurance. I know transmen who’ve gotten their surgeries covered (top only) by insurance.

    On the flip side, I really hope that “die”/”dye” thing was a typo. There is nothing more I hate than people who’ve gotten so far as to teach others when they don’t know how to freaking spell/write themselves.

  • JohnHousecat

    Nah…but it’s certainly driving some people to make rude comments.

  • Oswald Carnes

    According to the bible, you are a sodomite.

    • Marc W Blakesley

      I did not read anything in this story about not caring for the poor and the needy, which is what Ezekiel says was the sin of Sodom.
      “This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy” [Ezekiel 16:46]

  • Barbi Waters

    To correct a recent comment, Azusa Pacific University is not a seminary school. It offers both undergrad and graduate classes, and although it is a private evangelical institution, it is interdenominational and accepts non-christian students.

    And if the tables were turned, a professor who supports traditional marriage would not have to “come out” in order to live their life under that belief. That is a majority value in this country. Don’t be ridiculous.

  • Clare Mulligan

    As a Christian transwoman, I appreciate your respectful attention to this issue, Tony.

  • Tom

    Watching and listening to this person, my first impression is that he/she is fighting nature. I look at the person, listen to the voice, observe the mannerisms, and think “woman”.

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