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The Bible and the Transgender Experience: How Scripture Supports Gender Variance

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The Bible and the Transgender Experience explores:
whether or not God creates only two genders
what Jesus had to say about gender variance
various understandings of “the cross-dressing passage”
gender variant groups and individuals in scripture
the movement, within scripture itself, from the exclusion of gender variant people to their inclusion within the people of God

The author, a nontransgender pastor, spent three years serving a church where ten percent of the congregation identified as trans men, trans women, cross-dressers, or genderqueer. This motivated her to learn about gender variant people and put her in situations where her previous understanding of the Bible was greatly expanded.

In this scholarly, yet easy-to-read book, Herzer gives clear, insightful accounts of what she has learned.

A must read for all pastors, chaplains, counselors, and congregants, and for family and friends of transgender people, as well as for gender variant individuals seeking to find their stories in the biblical narrative, and desiring to know how scripture supports them.

A refreshing and much-needed contribution to the public debates about the rights of transgender people.

The Bible and the Transgender Experience includes the following resources:
"How to make your congregation or group trans friendly”: Practical suggestions from the author
Discussion guide: Thought-provoking questions that can be used with a book group or as part of a four- to five-week Bible study

194 pages, Kindle Edition

Published January 2, 2017

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About the author

Linda Tatro Herzer

2 books4 followers

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Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews
Profile Image for David .
1,266 reviews161 followers
March 28, 2018
I've been wanting to learn more about the experience of transgender and intersex persons (the TQI in LGBTQI). This is a short book arguing for how scripture supports gender variance (hence the title). She essentially argues that eunuchs in scripture are a gender separate from male and female. Thus, Jesus' positive words about eunuchs in Matthew 19 point to welcoming and affirming transgender and intersex persons. She also shows how the passage in Deuteronomy about how men shouldn't wear women's clothing doesn't really apply to our contemporary issues. This is a helpful book on the affirming end of the scale.
Profile Image for James.
37 reviews8 followers
October 11, 2021
This is a good overview of an affirming view of scripture for transgender Christians. However, the scholarship is a bit thin.
Profile Image for Jordan.
71 reviews10 followers
March 26, 2018
I found the author’s most compelling arguments to be those surrounding the Bible’s move to full inclusion of eunuchs (people who would be considered gender variant), and the existence of intersex people today as evidence that there is more than just male or female. This book definitely made me think deeper about some of today’s cultural issues, though some of the author’s applications from her interpretations felt like a stretch. This book wasn’t as academic or research based as I would have hoped, but gave some resources that will allow me to study this topic deeper.

As Christians, we cannot ignore the fact that people in our congregations may identify on a spectrum of gender identity and sexual orientation. This book was a great starting place for researching different Christian perspectives on LGBTQ and the church.
Profile Image for Ed Ashford.
Author 8 books23 followers
October 28, 2018
I really enjoyed the book and was really grateful to see a Christian perspective with strong arguments as to why trans people shouldn't be excluded from Christian spaces. But it became painfully obvious pretty early into the book that the author was not trans and was not someone immersed in trans culture, either. The author themselves sometimes spoke with a tone that made it sound like concepts were still new to them, and some bits of trans culture were just completely ignored, probably because the author wasn't aware of them. It feels like the author should have maybe spent a little more time talking to and interviewing trans people before sitting down to write a book that somewhat sticks words into those trans people's mouths.
25 reviews
July 28, 2017
Often those whose personal beliefs and prejudices use some Bible verses to support their non acceptance of transgender persons. In this insightful book, Rev Linda Tatro Herzler uses her seminary training to examine Bible passages to support inclusivity. She considers the context of the scriptures and the original languages to create a message if love. This book should be of great comfort to those who have a loved one that is transgender. It has an important message for churches on how they can obey the teachings of Jesus to love one another.
Profile Image for Bridget  Lambdon.
59 reviews2 followers
August 19, 2019
This is an excellent book that is clear and concise. It has finally helped me to reconcile being transgender and still be a Christian, chapter 5 on Deuteronomy 22:5I found especially helpful being as this is the verse I have used to beat myself up for about the last 40 years.
This should be required reading for all church leaders and congregations especially those who have gender variant people to enable them to be more welcoming and understanding. A must read for any trans Christians who still erroneously believe that God hates you.
Profile Image for Sherrie Scaffidi.
4 reviews1 follower
May 30, 2018
It was an interesting perspective, but I think the author should have done a bit more research, and interviewed more transgender people.
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews

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