This course is for individuals, groups, and congregational teams who want to take their knowledge and skills to the next level in terms of trans identity and how to create congregations that are fully inclusive and affirming of the full breadth of gender diversity.
Over six sessions you will deeply explore the intersection of trans identity, spirituality, and faith community, and gain the grounding, context, and skills to transform yourself and your congregation.
Who should take this course?
This course is designed for people and groups within generally LGBTQ-welcoming congregations. It was developed with Unitarian Universalists in mind, but it is applicable to other faith communities and contexts as well.
This course is for everyone from novices on trans identity to those with decades of life experience. Rather than simply offering a “trans 101,” this class pushes participants to the next level of congregational welcome, relationship-building, and skills-building. It counters mainstream narratives about who trans people are; supports understanding of non-binary identities (such as genderqueer, agender, and Two-Spirit); and employs a deeply intersectional approach. Congregational teams are particularly encouraged to participate.
How much does it cost?
The course costs $125 for individuals, or a sliding scale of $400-$800 for groups or congregations. We strongly encourage participation by congregational teams. If you purchase the course as a congregation, you'll receive a unique coupon code so that your entire congregation gets lifetime access the course.
The course is composed of six sessions, each of which includes a 45- to 55-minute lecture by Rev. Mykal Slack and Zr. Alex Kapitan, reflection questions, and resources that take the conversation deeper. The lectures are pre-recorded so that you can view them at any time that is convenient to you.
- Session 1. Introduction to Beloved Community: Welcome as a Spiritual Practice
In this session you'll get grounded in a Beloved Community approach to welcome, reflect on your personal experiences of inclusion vs. exclusion, and envision what practicing Beloved Community in a congregational setting looks like.
- Session 2. Gender and Our Faith Community
In this session you'll review the origins and impacts of gender binary roles and how they uphold patriarchy, explore gender roles and patriarchy within organized religion in historic and present-day contexts, and reflect on the faith grounding for how people of faith are called to dismantle gender-based oppression.
- Session 3. Unpacking the Gender Binary
In this session you'll learn about the different dimensions of gender (biology, expression, and identity), explore the incredible diversity of experience within these dimensions, and reflect on how your own experience of gender aligns or does not align with the gender binary.
- Session 4. Trans Experience and Spirituality
In this session you'll learn the risk factors involved in being transgender and the ways that race, class, age, ability, and more impact trans experience; learn about the role of spirituality in trans lives and the experiences of trans people in congregations; and explore the many spiritual gifts of trans people.
- Session 5. The Role of Culture in Trans Exclusion
In this session you'll gain an understanding of the iceberg model of culture, explore the characteristics of mainstream culture, and learn how cultural differences between trans culture and mainstream culture contribute to trans exclusion in congregations.
- Session 6. Creating Culture Shift
In this session you'll learn tools and practices for congregational culture shift, brainstorm next steps for creating trans-affirming culture shift in your congregation or faith group, and find out about additional resources that can support you in your next steps.
More about the course
Watch our video to hear course leaders Rev. Mykal Slack and Zr. Alex Kapitan share more about the course, why and how it came to be, what to expect from taking it, who the course is for, and how it works when a congregation purchases it:
Those who are interested in purchasing the course for a congregation may also find our guidance for facilitators page helpful.
Have questions? See below for answers to frequently asked questions. Have more questions? Contact us!
Mykal and Alex are co-leaders of the Transforming Hearts Collective and have years of experience helping congregations and other faith groups develop anti-oppressive frameworks for church life, fully affirm and celebrate people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, and foster community life practices that embody radical welcome and connection. Read full bios.