By Rachel Mann
Published by Wild Goose publications
If you are wanting to learn about trans matters, then this is an excellent place to start. The book is well written and engaging.
Revd canon Dr Rachel Mann is a trans priest in the Church of England. She is also a poet, parish priest and canon at Manchester Cathedral. This is her story about how she became Rachel. The book does not claim to be heavy theology, but it tells of her authentic journey through her own darkness to the light that is her faith.
It is a book that is very honest and tells the story with the dark times being occasions for God to be with her in the difficult places. It shows her search for who she is and who she is in God.
Reading this, I realised for the first time the effect of transition on families. It is easy to see the transition journey as being the individual person, but families have to deal with their own grief. Mann’s family had to grieve for the son they had lost, at the same time as embracing the daughter they now had. The relationship side is so important, in this journey.
It is through stories like this that we can understand that trans is not about changing gender, but about being confirmed in the gender they always knew they were.
This book is an essential read in understanding trans and faith.
Book available to buy at
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By Austen Hartke
Published by Westminster John Knox Press
I first came across this book at Greenbelt earlier this year. Greenbelt is a liberal arts Christian festival in England. If their book tent had a big pile of an LGBTQ book I wasn’t familiar with, then I had to buy a copy and find out for myself. As I discovered Austen Hartke is the maker of a You Tube series of videos called Transgender and Christian. His channel is available at
You Tube Transgender and Christian
He is also an academic theologian and a trans man. When he writes, he writes from his experience and from the experiences of other trans people of faith. The videos might use popular terminology such as ‘queero of the week’, but this book doesn’t. Instead he discusses the Bible verses that have been used to oppress trans people and he looks deeply into their interpretation.
He has the ability to explain complex theology in a very accessible way and his use of personal experience to illustrate his points add power and depth to his arguments.
This is an excellent book for any one wanting an introduction to trans theology. It is also one that will challenge and inform those who already know something about the subject. This book should be on the bookcase of everyone who wants to understand trans theology and the full spectrum of LGBTQ faith.
Available to buy at amazon.co.uk