Faith, Self Esteem, and Beauty for transgender women

This interview reveals the story of a catholic family that lives their faith by staying together as the father reveals her true self in a transition to being a transgender woman and a Catholic.
Introduction 0:09
Celestine and Hilary’s Story 4:26
Hilary’s Transition 6:20
Celestine Staying with Hilary 14:01
How Are LGBT People Gifts to the Church? 15:28
Howes Family Interview on YouTube

I am EXCITED to share with you the documentary short that I was interviewed for!

The short (14min) video project comes amidst ongoing conversations in the Vatican regarding the Church’s position on various issues related to family life. Pope Francis convened bishops from around the word for the first part of this meeting (called the “Synod on the Family”) last October and they will re-convene this coming October 2015 to discuss these issues further. In preparation, Pope Francis has invited Catholics around the world to weigh in on an ongoing conversation regarding the Catholic Church and issues of family. One of the issues being discussed is homosexuals within the Church.

This video project, titled LGBT Catholics: OwningOurFaith, seeks to contribute to that conversation. Our hope is to open the hearts and minds of those in our communities to the fact that LGBT Catholics are gifts to the Church. Most importantly, we want each and every person in our Church to know there is a place for them, they are loved and they are not alone.

Please take a few minutes to view the film (~14min in length). It is currently being launched publicly online, through various social media outlets and beyond. The film can be found as follows:
The Howes Family
An extended interview of my family will be available shortly.

For more information on the project, the participants and ways to continue the conversation in your own community, please visit our website.

Gender is a gift

Gender is a gift. This beautiful thought of well grounded catholic theology would make a wonderful sermon for any priest.


It is really quite validating to hear an american bishop in the roman catholic church come out with a statement this supportive,

Originally posted on The Catholic Transgender:

635581635436751207-BUR20150129BISHOP3 The newly installed bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington was asked in an interview “Is there any plan to reach out to transgender persons who no longer feel welcome at Church?”

Bishop Christopher Coyne’s response was as follows:

Well I’m sorry that that’s happened because I see no reason why transgender people would not be welcome in church. I think, there’s more and more evidence coming forward that a lot of this is biological. That it’s not just something that a person makes as a kind of fashionable choice or cultural choice, but that these, that transgender people are really struggling with the idea of gender identity, and that they have struggled with it for years—and that’s through no fault of their own. And so there’s no fault to be made, actually. This is who they are. Everyone is God’s creatures. And I would invite anyone to come to the…

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Giant Step for Transgender Welcome, But Not As Far for Gay & Lesbian People.


The meeting clearly reassured this transgender man. Since there is no public teaching on transgender people Francis sends a powerful message to good catholics to treat all people with dignity.
It is likely not coincidental that Fancis’ first reported call to a transgender person comes exactly 6 years to the day after Benedic’s alleged “Christmas Condemnation of Transexuals”. I can only imagine how powerful that meeting must have been for Diego. I was myself very validating it was for me to hear very affirming words from a Bishop when I disclosed my Transexual status to him. Although I have been affirmed by every priest I have shared my story with it was still very powerful to hear this Bishops kind words about my journey and to share dinner with him.

Originally posted on Bondings 2.0:

Diego Neria Lejárraga

According to a Spanish newspaper report, Pope Francis recently held a private meeting at the Vatican with a transgender man and his fiancee.

Diego Neria Lejárraga had written to the pope about being rejected by his faith community after undergoing gender confirming surgery.  Neria explained: “After hearing him on many occasions, I felt that he would listen to me.”

Neria told the newspaper Hoy, from the Extremadura region of Spain, that Pope Francis had initially responded to his letter with  a phone call, and the pontiff told Neria that the letter “touched his soul.”

According to The Huffington Post, the private meeting last week was a result of this December exchange on the phone. A spokesperson from the Vatican, Fr. Manuel Dorantes, would not confirm the meeting, however.

In the Huffington Post article, Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, questioned the Vatican’s silence but said he would not be surprised if the meeting had…

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We slowly came to the realization that we hadn’t lost the person who had been our son.  In fact, in many respects we got our child back, as she embraced her gender identity and emerged from the depths of depression.  All the creativity, humor, empathy, and intelligence that make her an exceptional person are still there and are shining through stronger than ever.  And I’d like to think that the acceptance of her immediate and extended Catholic family have played some part in that positive transformation.

via LGBTQ Children in Catholic Families: A Deacon’s View of Holy Family Sunday.


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