Transgender people’s reflections on identity, faith, and Christian faith communities in the U.S.

Kristen Benson, Eli Westerfield, Brad van Eeden-Moorefield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Relational therapists have limited access to resources and information about transgender people’s faith beliefs and experiences in Christian communities of faith, which is largely absent from the professional literature. The purpose of this article is to examine the Christian religious and spiritual experiences of transgender people located in the U.S. Seven self-identified transgender people participated in in-depth interviews. Results of the study indicated that participants had various experiences in faith communities, with both supportive and discriminatory responses from others. The results also suggest that participants maintained their faith beliefs even when they experience rejection from faith communities. Moreover, participants reported feeling a connection with a higher power, and specifically viewed themselves as made transgender by God. Findings from this study may be particularly relevant for relational therapists who work within Christian faith communities and organizations. Implications for transgender inclusive and supportive therapy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-420
Number of pages26
JournalSexual and Relationship Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2 Oct 2018


  • Christian
  • faith
  • gender identity
  • queer
  • religion
  • spirituality
  • transgender


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