Austen HartkeComment
Photo by  Nana B Agyei  

Photo by Nana B Agyei 

Hello, world! It's Austen. 

Welcome to this new corner of the internet.

When I first started work on the Transgender and Christian web-series, I thought about framing it as a blog. I figured putting up one post per week analyzing and highlighting transgender experiences within Christianity would work best in long form. Who wouldn't want to read walls and walls of text on gender theory and Hebrew root words, right?

Good thing I talked myself out of that one.

Still, thirteen videos into the project, it's become clear that a written component would open up new opportunities, and so here we are! Let me tell you a little bit about my hopes for this space.

This is where I'm going to be blogging about issues related to gender identity and Christianity as they come up in the public consciousness, and as they come up personally in my life. During the time I spent working to understand my own gender identity, I found that while there were more than a handful of lesbian, gay, and bisexual Christian bloggers, there was a severe lack of information about and stories from transgender Christians. I'm writing to add one more voice to this chorus.

This blog will also be the platform for a series of interviews I'm going to be soliciting from trans people of faith. And when I say "trans people of faith," I mean that in the broadest sense--I hope to speak with Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist trans folks, as well as to trans folks in Christian denominations other than my own. My experience as a Christian does not represent all Christian experiences, just as my experience as a trans person does not represent the experience of all trans people, and I hope that by bringing together diverse voices we might come to understand how to better support each other.

So here are the nitty-gritty details:
As of right now, I'm not creating a set posting schedule--I'll post as often as someone with a full time job, one part-time side project, and a girlfriend and family is able. The goal is to have a new post up here once a week, but the Transgender and Christian videos will take priority, so you can be sure to always find me over at YouTube on Wednesdays.

And for those of you like myself who enjoy mission statements, this one's for you:
Above all, this blog is inspired by Brené  Brown's definition of the word courage, which she says "begins with the willingness to show up and let ourselves be seen." For transgender people, our ability to show up and be seen in the most literal sense is, at worst, dangerous, and at best, anxiety-producing. For me, the creation of this blog and of the Transgender and Christian series is an act of courage--an affirmation that says "I am here."

I hope you'll join me.