Webinar: Gender Exploration, Identity, and Expression in the Body of Christ
Join us on Thursday, March 4, 2021 (2-3:30 Eastern / 11am-12:30pm Pacific) for this important webinar
Can’t join us for the live session? Register anyway! We’ll send a link for the password-protected recording to all registrants.
Gender fluid. Gender expansive. Gender nonbinary. Gender questioning. Many terms and concepts have emerged in recent years as people come to grips with how they experience their gender internally and how they relate to their own bodies, as well as how they want to express their gender outwardly and interact with others socially. Gender in the American church was previously explored almost exclusively through a binary lens focused on roles and rights—what constitutes “biblical manhood and womanhood,” for example. But today, the church is being challenged to consider a much broader discussion of gender questions and experiences.
Regardless of your theological position—or confusion—on these matters, we want to offer you the chance to meet Christians with nonbinary experiences in order to deepen your insights into these precious people who you may find yourself serving today or in the future.
This conversation is tailored to meet the specific needs of pastors, ministry leaders, and those involved in theological education. You’ll meet five Jesus followers who have generously agreed to share their individual stories, respond to your questions, and engage in conversation. Guided largely by your questions (which we invite you to submit ahead of time), we’ll address a variety of practical, relational, and spiritual issues:
- What gender terms do you identify with, and what do they mean to you?
- What should I do/feel if I mess up your pronouns?
- What’s the difference between transgender and nonbinary?
- What kinds of Christian spaces do you feel safe, seen, and known in—and why is that?
- What can churches learn from nonbinary Christians?
- How can Christian leaders support you in your faith walk?
- What has your gender identity taught you about God?
Meet our panelists!
leea allen (they/them/their): trans nonbinary and transmasculine
leea works at the intersection of faith and justice, working toward freedom for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities in the South. Their spiritual formation and ministry are rooted in their experiences of Blackness and transness, the Black Church, liberation theology, womanist theology, and Zen Buddhism. Currently, leea serves at Virginia-Highland Church in Atlanta, GA.
Andrew Gilbert (he/him, they/them, she/her): gender questioning, gender fluid
Andrew primarily understands their calling as an artist who mixes spaces of meditation, reflection, and sensorial experiences, all focused on emotions. They were born and raised in Brazil by their missionary parents, who work with children at risk, educators, and social workers and organizations. Andrew is a recent Calvin University graduate in Fine Arts.
D. Eng (they/them/their): gender-complicated
A native New Yorker, D. makes their ‘home’ at Forefront Church and AcesNYC, advocating for the visibility and inclusion of the asexual & trans communities. Finding their queer identity has led D. to challenge other binaries: platonic-romantic, earthly-divine, body-spirit. D. dreams of one day living in an intentional community with other queer Christian folks. Until then, D. lives in Brooklyn with Pansy, a 12-year-old rabbit.
John Backman (she/her/her): nonbinary
An essayist, spiritual director, and quasi-hermit, John writes about ancient spirituality and the ways it collides with postmodern life. This includes a book (Why Can’t We Talk? Christian Wisdom on Dialogue as a Habit of the Heart) and personal essays in journals. John also presents at conferences like Q Christian Fellowship and the Parliament of the World’s Religions.
Charlie (they/them/their): nonbinary
Charlie is a change agent who wants to leave this world better than they found it, in large part by making videos about the intersections of their identities and how those identities fit into the Beloved Community (based on the early church, it is a global vision of a world where everyone can be seen, known, loved and encouraged to live into their purpose). Charlie hopes that by pursuing this world, they can live into their own purpose as a child of God and encourage others to do the same.
Lesli Hudson-Reynolds (they/ them/their): nonbinary
Lesli serves as Gender Identity Ministry Dir-ector and Donor Relations Coordinator for Posture Shift, mentoring youth and adults seeking God’s will in their gender identity, and develop-ing a resource design-ed to engage church leadership in the conversation. Lesli spent 15 years in regional theater as Production Stage Manager for Broadway shows and still escapes to NYC from Tennessee to see shows whenever possible.