Three years ago I began to talk about gender variant and transgender Bible characters. The almost universal response from all was Wait! What?After doing lots of research and talking to all sorts of scholars and trans folks, I created a play, Transfigurations–Transgressing Gender in the Bible, a play that explores these amazing characters–most of whom turn out to be the MOST important people in the MOST important stories. The play is being turned into a graphic novel and quite possibly a musical!
I recently attended the Philadelphia Trans Health Summit, where I mostly attended sessions so that I could learn more about transgender issues from trans people. You cannot imagine how thrilled I was to discover that J. Mason, an engaging Black/Gay/Trans/Queer facilitator and performer, who after seeing my performance of Transfigurations two years ago in Connecticut, put together a workshop with Michele Kline the topic of trans Bible Characters.
Bearing the Cross: Trans Presence in the Bible (Interactive Lecture)
J. Mason, Michelle Kline
The Bible is often used as a tool to defame LGBTQ people. We all know what we’ve been told about biblical texts around gender and sexuality, but what does the Bible actually say about transgender/gender variant people? This experiential and interactive workshop will give participants a working knowledge of biblical texts often used against and for the inclusion of transpeople as well as being a dialogue about the various interpretations that exist.
How thrilling to see trans folks sharing the material from the play. I know that as a non-trans ally, I can and do speak to others about this topic, but I feel like a contented gardener who has planted some seeds and see fresh green sprouts and buds and fruit!
During the conference I got to hang out with my buddies Micah and Brian from the Sanctuary Collective. I especially enjoy our long talks about a variety of topics from Bible interpretation to polyamory (seems lots of important Bible dudes had multiple partners.)
Micah has put together a video about trans people in the Bible. I love his jaunty style and that playful presentation of his. Enjoy.