Friday, October 16 Session Descriptions:

10:30am – 12:00pm Session Block 1

“Caitlyn And Others – On Icons, Sex Objects, And The Trans Experience”
Rev. Vicki Gray
This workshop will consider the sensationalism and misogyny surrounding her coming out, introduce a new generation to older icons like Phyllis Frye and Jan Morris who did it with grit and dignity, and co-chair an open-ended and, I’m sure, lively discussion about how these and other celebrity experiences affect the lives of trans people.

Transgender Liberation and the Bible – TEL Instructors: Yii-Jan Lin, PhD, Schmian Evans & Justin Tanis
CLGS is partnering with PSR’s Theological Education for Leadership program to offer this new online course of study in the fall of 2015 for pastors, religious professionals, lay leaders and anyone interested in deepening their knowledge on the topic. This session will be a preview of some of the teachings that will be offered during the series including sessions on Human Sexuality and Transgender Liberation.

Vocational Pathways for Transgender People of Faith – Leslie Carole Taylor
This workshop will be a space for attendees to explore different spiritually-rooted vocational opportunities and possibilities for transgender and genderqueer people of faith. The workshop

1:30pm – 3:00pm Session Block 2

“A God who Looks Like Us – Discovering and Accessing the Gender-Bending Divine” – Kai Koumatos
This workshop would provide an opportunity for participants to learn about the unconventionally gendered faces of the divine that already exist in the history of world religion. Beyond the religions of the book, there lie many faces of the divine that have reflected a wide variety of what we would now consider trans-identities including third-gender, dual-gendered, androgynous, and non-gendered. These deities can be found in many places including African, Polynesian, Aboriginal, Native American, Hindu, Greek, Norse, and Egyptian Pantheons. Much more than a lecture on ancient deities, the workshop would provide a practical and experiential component, teaching the participants pagan techniques for researching, discovering, and learning to engage forms of God that look different from what we have been taught.

Ordination: Challenges and Possibilities – Congregational Representatives
This will be a dialogue on experiences of transgender and gender-nonconforming faith leaders experiences with the congregational ordination and placement process. Details TBA

Academic Paper Presentations – Various Speakers
Papers Include:

  • “Trans* Jewish Theology” Rabbi Dr. Levi Alter
  • “Disrupting the Binary: Creating a Transgender and Gender Creative Hermeneutic” Katy E. Valentine, Ph.D
  • “Two Spirits, Three Genders, For All The People” Luccia Jalila Rogers, Ph.D.

3:30pm – 4:45pm Session Block 3
Growth and TRANSformation in Religious Leadership – 2015 Trans Seminarian Cohort
This workshop will address the ways religious leaders who are trans-identified process the myriad elements of living differently gendered in the context of public ministry and faith work. Particular focus will be given to the role of transition and the often unspoken elements of grief and loss that come with our transition experiences. We will look at the ways that grief impacts our leadership and how we are to process through difficult experiences in our leadership roles. The ultimate focus will be on the growth that comes from working through our grief. In small groups, led by individual cohort members, workshop participants will share their sacred stories. We will conclude with an exercise in which participants write elements of their stories on paper with embedded seeds, we will then give our stories a chance to literally grow and transform into something living and new.

“The Wheel of the Year” – Rabbi Dr. Levi Alter
Do you get asked for trans* spiritual rituals but come up empty? Are you looking for rituals to fit a diverse group? Are you frustrated trying to adapt traditional rituals to fit real people and real lives? Then come learn and share! This workshop seeks to empower trans* and allies who are active in spiritual work and communities through ritual access. It is centered around a presentation followed by an open discussion of the liturgical calendar and the liturgies and rituals that are practiced by diverse faith communities and solitary practitioners that aims to provide inclusion and overcome barriers of gender or orientation. It brings a calendar for each month of the year with the holidays and holy days of civil, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Baha’i, Confucian, Taoist, Pagan, Wiccan, Earth-based and Native traditions with gender-inclusive, trans-inclusive and LGBT-inclusive rituals and affirmations as a jumping off point for the group to
discuss rituals and affirmations of their own that they have used successfully and to talk about what works, and to use as a cafeteria style buffet resource that participants can bring home with them, and add to online for future editions as a resource for faith groups, faith leaders and individuals.

Saturday, October 17 Session Descriptions:

1:00pm – 2:45pm Community Action Forum: Confronting Violence Against Transgender Communities

This will be a space to articulate and develop shared understandings of the multiple forms of violence that impact transgender, genderqueer & gender non-conforming peoples. We will discuss ways of addressing violence against transgender women of color in particular, as well as violence as it happens throughout our communities. We will engage with the organizing, healing, and advocacy work that is being done locally and across the globe and examine what ways progressive faith communities, leaders and organizations can show up for anti-violence work.  After this opening discussion, we will channel our energy into smaller breakout groups on concrete next steps and practices.  CLGS is partnering with local transgender and queer organizing groups and transgender faith leaders on planning this forum. (Free & Open to the Public

3:00pm pm- 4:45pm Action Forum Breakout Sessions
These breakout sessions will focus on current organizing efforts locally and nationally, art & healing activities, resourcing/funding projects and solidarity work. (Free & Open to the Public