A gift for any avid reader

This shopping season, are you looking a good book for an avid reader? My memoir, A Roller Coaster Through a Hurricane, is
a. about my experience as a transgender person.
b. filled with humorous, tragic, and compelling events from my life.
c. a story how I lived my Christian faith through adversity and rejection.
d. my love story with Julie.
e. all of the above.

On Thanksgiving, my granddaughter arranged my stock of books.

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The first time I dared call a girl for a date could have gone better.

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“You’ve Got Mail” has nothing on how Julie and I came together.

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Personally and professionally, tragedy has been a frequent visitor.

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I detail the transitioning steps for myself and all trans persons.

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I learned a lot by living publicly as a transgender woman.

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That’s but a glimpse into the ride provided by A Roller Coaster Through a Hurricane!

Purchase it by clicking the BUY button, below:

New reviews of my book

My memoir, A Roller Coaster Through a Hurricane, now has twenty-five reviews on its Amazon book page. 24 of 25 are FIVE STARS.

The more reviews I receive, the better my online metrics and the greater are my chances of my book being seen by prospective purchasers.

If you have read Roller Coaster, would you consider posting a review? Thank you! Some have not wanted to post their name and were able to select a username. So, know that, if you desire, you are able to protect your privacy.

The two new reviews are from Christians, whose reviews are of high value. Because I am a Christian, I could not help but write of the many ways church and faith have played a huge role, yet …

I did not write a “Christian book,” but worked to demonstrate that my story can, and does, happen to anyone, of any walk of life. I am pleased that my readers and reviewers have come from every walk of life.

In the first of the latest reviews, note what I’ve underlined.

Here’s the full review:

As a general rule, pastors don’t know a lot about transgenderism and, when they do find out a congregational or family members is transgender, they are focused on “what do I tell this person?” This is an important book for the insight it gives into a person’s life and the years and decades he felt conflict within himself. Any pastor who encounters a transgender person should say “let me look into that” and then READ THIS BOOK before going any further. It will save a lot of heartache caused by pastors jumping in and trying to give advice about something they know little about. A must for every pastor’s library.

In the most recent review, note what I’ve underlined. (LCMS is the church body in which I was a minister.) This person informed me of having purchased copies for four professionals in both ministry and mental health care.

Here’s the full review:

As an LCMS member and mental health professional, I highly recommend this book. Greg has certainly had quite a journey, and it is very informative to those who want to understand more about what it means to live with Gender Dysphoria. I hope the day comes where our understanding of causes and best treatments are clearer. One aspect of the book that I greatly appreciate is how throughout Greg’s struggles and suffering, he never loses sight of his faith in Christ and that perfect healing comes from Him. I also greatly appreciate in this time of inflexibility where people with differing views struggle mightily to listen to each other, Greg and Julie have both consistently modeled the patience, grace, and compassion that we all should strive for as Christians. I am looking forward to reading his next book. Soli Deo Gloria.

The “next book” to which the reviewer refers is my upcoming book, Ministering to Transgender Christians, which is intended primarily for pastors.

To see all twenty-five reviews, and to purchase Roller Coaster, click here:

The 4 in 1 post

Retirement: fifth anniversary

June 30 marks five years since I retired from being a parish pastor.

I’m still bummed out about it.

I still consider it to have been forced on me, having preferred to keep my gender dysphoria in check instead of leaving the ministry in order to address it.

I still wish I were a parish pastor.

I’ve accomplished a lot the past five years. I’m grateful about that. I have a lot more in mind to do. But I still wish it didn’t have to be this way.

Greg’s return: one year ago

July 9 marks one year since I made public that I had ceased experiencing any sense of being female, that I gradually got used to the idea that I would resume living as a guy, and that by late May I had been living full time as Greg.

I lived as a transgender woman for three years. I did everything a person can do to transition sexes.

It all feels like it was a dream.

If it were not for all of the evidence that I transitioned, I might not believe it had been real. When I ponder it, I find myself physically shaking my head in disbelief.

All my life, I wanted to feel like a guy. For the past nearly one-and-a-half years, I have. I wish I didn’t have to go through all that I did to achieve it, but I am thankful that I finally arrived at this wonderful wholeness.

Hormone update

I have passed the seven month mark since resuming hormone therapy. Each Sunday, I inject a low dose of estradiol (estrogen). The purpose is to protect my bones, muscles, and joints, and to stop the infernal hot flashes I had been having multiple times a day since May 2018.

When I started feeling like a guy at the outset of 2018, I stopped my hormone therapy with my endocrinologist’s permission to do so. I feared continuing to take estrogen would upset my sense of self.

In a few months, I started feeling sluggish. Then my muscles felt like mush. My knees protested when I got out of bed in the morning and when I walked stairs.

By autumn, I could hardly run. I returned to my endocrinologist. I had researched my condition and was quite sure what she would tell me. She immediately confirmed that my hormones were too low.

We debated whether I should take testosterone or estrogen. Long story short, we settled on estrogen. With either one, I feared upsetting what I believe to be a delicate balance with my gender identity. In November, I resumed weekly injections and held my breath.

Within two weeks the hot flashes had ceased and my muscles and joints were beginning to feel better. After a month or so, my body was back to normal. Best of all, I experienced no fluctuation in experiencing myself as a male, and I continue to feel great.

This spring, because I got my muscles healthy and worked at losing weight, I improved my running to where I was in late 2017, which was the best I had run since retiring. Last week, running six miles, I ran my fastest pace of the year.

The more weight I lose, the better I run. I love that, but . . .

Greight Loss on hold

I have put my Greight Loss on hold. I am grateful to have lost so much weight so quickly—twenty-eight pounds since my high of 260 in February—but the thing has occurred which I feared.

In my initial Greight Loss post, I explained that I intentionally put on weight last year so that my breasts might appear as man boobs. It worked.

Then it didn’t work. I hated carrying the extra weight.

Since I successfully adjusted to living as a guy with this busty chest, I hoped I could lose some weight and not be too self-conscious about my breasts. As I passed the twenty-pound mark in weight loss, my chest stood out so much more. It really bothered me.

Yet, I didn’t want to stop losing weight. I carried on.

Nearing the thirty-pound mark, I finally had enough. The rest of me shrinks, but my chest remains the same. When I go out in public, I have to select my shirts carefully, to disguise my chest. I have to wear a sports bra when I run, and that makes them even more prominent.

A few weeks ago, I began the process to see if our health insurance might cover the cost of my having a double mastectomy. I await word from them. I am not overly hopeful it will be covered. If not, I’m going to have to put up with these breasts for now.

I don’t know what I’ll do about losing more weight. I’d love to take off another thirty pounds.

Another brick in the wall

“Male and Female He Created Them” is the latest paper released by the Vatican in which the pope of the Roman Catholic Church seeks to state his church body’s position on a contemporary issue. http://www.educatio.va/content/dam/cec/Documenti/19_0997_INGLESE.pdf

The title tells the entire story.

Don’t waste your time reading it.

Theologically, there is much with which I agree with the pope when it comes to how the Lord created humans, what His design is for the family, marriage, and sex and gender. When I dealt with my own gender dysphoria and transitioned, living as a transgender woman for three years, I grappled with God’s Word, with my Lutheran understanding of sex and gender, and with every religious and ethical issue being transgender presented to me.

I was able to retain every theological belief, all which I hold dearly. I learned that I could deal with my gender dysphoria as a physical malady, as any Christian makes use of earthly gifts and ways to achieve healing and find wholeness. I didn’t have to trade one for the other. I have come to know many transgender Christians who hold the same beliefs.

In “Male and Female He Created Them,” the Roman Catholic Church seeks to understand sex and gender issues theologically, that her congregations and leaders might educate according to Roman Catholic theology.

Fair enough.

So, what?

Where I see the paper lacking is in addressing those who long to be faithful Catholics, who do not espouse views that are opposed to God’s Word, but who, nonetheless, experience real issues of sex and gender which the Church rejects, who seek understanding from the Church and long for the same temporal, physical, and emotional wholeness as do those who experience any serious condition.

I find the paper to be nothing more than another barrier of separation between the Church and those who grapple with their sex and gender. Reading it, I heard, “There. That’s that. Onto the next issue.” I did not hear, “Here is how we will lovingly care for our people who carry these burdens, so that they know the Lord loves them the same as He loves everyone else.”

With this paper, the pope didn’t make anything better. He made it worse.

He created more division between the Christian faith and everyone the Church wants to know that Jesus Christ is the Creator and Savior of all.

It’s just another brick in the wall.

Still a trans advocate (3)

I also have a secular version of the presentation.

On March 14, I gave my second Transanswers presentation. This time, I addressed eighteen pastors and ministry leaders.

They were attentive throughout my ninety minute talk, sprinkling it with their excellent questions and important insights, which brought to blossom the time we spent together.

This is always an area to bring out much discussion.

I mixed in short readings from my book, “A Roller Coaster Through a Hurricane,” which served to enhance my talk and demonstrate what is to be found in the book. I was pleased afterward with how many purchased a copy.

Transanswers is where my heart is, to develop my new career of service and education. Based on the two times I’ve presented it, the need is clearly there.

I expand on each of these to provoke Christians to think deeply.

Might I present to you? To your church? Workplace? School? Group?

How far will I drive to do so? For starters, I will gladly go to the states which surround Indiana. If the occasion is such to entice me further away, I will certainly want to discuss it.

Still a trans advocate (2)

I’ve just been published in a book.

Not my book, but as a guest in another book.

As Gina.

I’m writing about it as I continue to demonstrate that my resuming living as a male changed nothing in my quest to educate regarding gender dysphoria and advocate for transgender persons.

It was a year ago when I received an email from my former therapist informing me that the editors of this book on transgender health and aging were seeking short pieces from older trans persons. The book covers every topic imaginable regarding emotional and physical healthcare for trans persons, and the guest essays provide personal insights into the topic.

At this time last year, I was still living as a female, but I was not feeling female at all. No one, outside of immediate family and a few friends, was aware of what I was experiencing. I knew that if the sense of being male persisted I would be resuming living as a male, and then making it known. Indeed, by mid-April I was going back and forth how I presented depending where I was, then in late May I was back to Greg full time, and on July 9 I made it public.

By the time I decided to submit a piece for the book it was mid-April. I wrote an essay and sent it to the therapist who told me about this opportunity. She sent an encouraging reply, so I submitted my piece.

I submitted it as Gina. I felt a bit disingenuous, not acknowledging what was going on with me. I reasoned that I didn’t know what would transpire, and I was still living as Gina, and I was legally Gina.

In early May, they informed me that my essay would be one of ten included in the book. I was not back full time to Greg, so I left that be. They informed me they would send me a book upon its publication. I received it on March 16.

Regardless of my resuming living as a male, everything I wrote remains true. In the essay, I reflect on an event I had attended in April, mere days before writing the piece. My endocrinologist invited me to a presentation to over one hundred medical professionals of IU Health. A nurse, who has a trans son, gave an excellent presentation, educating about gender dysphoria and one’s being transgender. I then spoke to them for a few minutes regarding my experience transitioning in Indianapolis. Then, I sat with a group for ninety minutes, fielding their questions.

In my essay, I focused on the many doctors trans folks see while transitioning, and the variety of specialists I saw as a trans woman—from two eye specialists, to an oral surgeon, to a podiatrist, to a cardiologist. I stressed that even though my providers all are in the IU Health network, and IU Health admitted they were behind the curve with transgender healthcare, I was pleased to report to them that the care I received from this host of doctors, along with the many nurses, technicians, and office staff I saw, took great care of me.

Transgender persons need good healthcare. They need to know they will be treated seriously, and with respect. And, they need people such as myself, who have been there and done that, who are able to speak up, speak out, and speak loudly, to advocate on their behalf.

Still a trans advocate (1)

I was recently interviewed on the show “The Gays of Our Lives.” You can watch the video or listen to the audio:

Don’t be fooled by the silly take on the name of the old soap opera, Lissa and Avery take seriously their work interviewing a variety of folks to “decipher the gay alphabet and bridge the gap between the older and younger gay community.”

In February, they interviewed a trans friend of mine, who, like me, transitioned later in life, and did so as a public school teacher in the Indianapolis area. My friend told Avery and Lissa about me, and my unique story of having transitioned and then resuming living as a male.

I jumped on their asking me to be on the podcast. I long to show that I remain an advocate for transgender folks. I need to demonstrate that I have not disavowed all things transgender, as one trans woman asked me if I had. I will make and take every opportunity to speak up, speak out, and speak loudly for transgender persons.

I’ve had trans women tell me that what happened to me, when I stopped feeling female, scares them, that it could happen to them. Because they have invested so much into transitioning and finally find themselves whole inside and happy with life, it is a jarring notion to think they could lose it all. Indeed, when it happened to me, for three months it rocked me hard, so I get it.

Thus, the importance of my making it known that I have not gone anywhere. That my resuming living as a male was not a disavowing of all things transgender. That I continue to advocate for issues related to experiencing gender dysphoria and living as a transgender person.

For their part, Lissa and Avery are doing important work by interviewing a host of people from a variety of backgrounds. Their winning personalities make them easy to like, a joy to work with, and a pleasure to listen to.

Thank you, Avery and Lissa, for having me on the show. Keep on keeping on with your good work!