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The Transfaith Story

David and Deborah
Donna (right) and colleagues from TransEpiscopal

Transfaith™ is a story. It's my story -- and perhaps it's your story too.  

When I first started exploring my gender identity, I went looking for spiritually grounded resources to support my journey -- yet found little support, even from organizations with "transgender" in their names or mission statements. The short list of resources that I was able to find became TransFaith™ Online in 1999 and began my public journey.

Through the years, the website has opened doors for me to meet many other people wrestling at the intersection of transgender communities and issues of faith and spirit.  We often find one another at conferences and events -- though, increasingly, we also connect through Facebook groups and other kinds of networking or organizing. Those relationships have changed my life and helped me to expand my sense of what is possible.

Other members of the Transfaith family have similar stories.

Suicide is a serious problem among transgender people and it hits some of us particularly hard.  As a young, black, trans man, Louis had already lost too many elders and mentors. He made a personal commitment to offer himself as a bridge to help other transgender people come out of the isolation and into community. Yet, being a bridge can be exhausting.  In Transfaith, Louis finds support and encouragement from others who also want to bring healing to those who may be hurting or alone.

David and his wife, Deborah, thought that he was "the only one" for more than two decades.  They say that finding Transfaith has helped to turn their lives from depression and isolation to community and advocacy.

Donna is an activist who came to her faith perspective during/after transition.  She started organizing TransEpiscopal, a national transgender caucus in her faith tradition, in 2005 with a Yahoo! groups email list and word of mouth.  Through Transfaith, she now works with other faith-based activists to compare notes, offer encouragement, and develop strategy, across denominational lines. We are finding, not only that we are much stronger together, but that many of us face very similar challenges in different faith traditions.

The common thread is that we are learning from one another and finding ourselves inspired to live life more authentically and more powerfully. Through the years, these connections and so many more developed relatively organically. There was no strategic plan or SMART goals.  We were just working hard to find one another and be present to one another.

But lately, we've realized that we need to invest more intentionally in this community, if we want it to survive and thrive.  In 2012, we began working with a re-vitalized board of directors to set a course for the future.   We have been clarifying our mission and vision -- and figuring out how to invite more people into this story. We're still a work in progress, but that means it's a great time to connect!

We hope that you will be a part of this story. Whether you give financially, get involved in other ways, or simply take nourishment from the website, we invite you to consider your own place in the story that we are writing together.

Chris Paige
Executive Director

The Transfaith Story
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