My name is Thea, I am a Catholic transgender woman. I graduated with a degree in theology and religious studies from the Catholic University of America and I am currently working on a master’s degree in systematic theology from the Graduate Theological Union. I am currently working on understanding specific transgender issues from a theological perspective. This blog is an attempt by me to offer the knowledge I have through my education and my experiences as a transgender woman to provide some helpful examples of ways to think about transgender issues using the tradition of the Catholic Church.
I am focusing solely on Catholic Social Teaching in order to avoid questions about the validity of transgender experiences. These are questions which need answering, but I do not feel I am capable of answering them as of yet. Instead, I will focus on the concrete issues that transgender people face, issues like poverty, homelessness, lack of healthcare, and hate crimes. Many people are targets of violence such as this, but I hope to show that transgender people are vulnerable to them because we are transgender. I will then apply some principles of Catholic Social Teaching and offer a perspective faithful Catholics can take to support your transgender siblings.
What this blog will not do:
- Argue why transgender people should remain Catholic. As a Catholic transgender woman, I have often felt as though I am unwelcome in the church I call home. This is a common experience for many transgender people. I feel this is a personal decision we should all make, informed by our own needs and our faithful response to God’s will. If this blog helps other transgender Catholics determine the path for them, then I am happy but if not, I am also fine with that.
- Argue that transgender people are the gender they say they are. By argue I mean that, for the purposes of this blog, it will not be taken as a question whether or not I am a woman, for example. I am a woman because I say I am. I will have a quick post explaining who transgender people are and what the Catholic Church says about us, but the majority of my posts will be centered on the concrete issues we face in our day to day lives and how Catholic Social Teaching can be applied.
What this blog will do:
- Advocate for the full inclusion of transgender people in every area of life. Many times transgender people are excluded from the most basic necessities like healthcare, shelter, and employment and so it is vital that society protect us from such ostracism.
- Address these issues using the documents of Catholic Social Teaching
- Provide some short examples from current events that illustrate the hardships we face and the response faithful Catholics can take.
The main purpose of this blog is to provide a sort of archive for Catholics to understand issues that face transgender Catholics from the perspective of someone who is Catholic, transgender, and knows the tradition of the Catholic Church. Hopefully this will provide some help for those who wish to integrate their faith in their support for us, or convince those who are unsure about transgender issues that a faithful response as Catholics is to support our protection and advancement.