The paper presentation on “Transgender Christians’ Experiences: A Qualitative Study” was earlier today. It went well. Trista and I went back and forth and discussed the various responses we received to questions about personal faith, relationship with God, religious coping activities, issues that arise in marriage, employment, etc. The day before the session, we were able to arrange to have a person in as a discussant who is transgender and Christian. She shared some of her own story and the challenges she has faced and choices she has made in response to gender dysphoria. Of course, these choices are not without consequences, and she was also able to share how some of her decisions had an impact on family members, local church experiences, and so on.
Although the audience was not large, those in attendance showed a genuine interest in the topic, and some had provided clinical services to this population. Most of the questions actually went to our discussant, which made a lot of sense, as she was quite open and transparent in sharing from her experience, and many in attendance probably have had few opportunities to interact with and ask questions of someone who has been sorting out gender identity questions and conflicts.
I also appreciated the opportunity to present at the Virginia Psychological Association. I have tended to gravitate toward the national organization, and this was my first foray into the state association. The audience was great, and the people there were quite receptive to the presentation and seemed quite appreciative that the topic was covered the way it was.