Book reviews: feast or famine

The screenshot, above, tells the ratings story of how my book, Ministering to Transgender Christians, is being received.

Well, almost. While the seven 5 star ratings and sole 1 star rating is real, it doesn’t reveal this: the seven folks who’ve rated the book have posted reviews, while the only person to click 1 star didn’t say a word.

I can imagine why the person gave the book 1 star, but I don’t want to be left to guessing—though I admit my initial thoughts were not exactly kind toward the person: “That punk,” I murmured, “If they can click on one star, they can have the guts to tell me what their problem is.”

I’d love to hear from that person. What didn’t they like? Where did they find me to be wrong? What can they tell me to improve or correct my text?

The ratings might be feast or famine, but the reviews are all feast. Here are the two received since I last posted reviews, beginning with this screenshot that captures Katie’s full review:

I’ve messaged with Katie a number of times over the past few years. I’ve appreciated her evenhanded and compassion-filled approach to things, and all the more so because she is a Lutheran and a Bible study leader, speaker, and writer.

I also like Katie’s title: “Important book for anyone especially moms.” When I began writing Ministering, I thought I was talking specifically to Lutheran ministers. Eventually, I saw that my audience was wider, and changed my focus to any Christian leader who might find themselves in need of this information. Yet, what I’ve so far seen is that parents are being helped by this book—and, based on reviews and messages I receive, they are my largest audience.

Included is the parent who posted the most recent review:

The screenshot only captures the first half of it. Click here for the entire review: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08FHBNGQV/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i0#customerReviews

I’ve shared many emails with this parent. They are a Christian who is conservative and traditional in every way. They struggled greatly with their child’s transition. Now, having read both of my books, they have been able to reach out to their child and reconnect.

Though parent and child have vastly different views on important things, they are striving to understand and love one another. For this, I rejoice.

If you know anyone who would receive value from my memoir, A Roller Coaster through a Hurricane, or from Ministering to Transgender Christians, please reach out to them. Click the pics, below, to go to either book for ordering.

Kimberley Beregrove: kindred spirit

Rare is my meeting a transgender Christian with whom I match up in important ways: Christian faith, integrity in every aspect of life, conservative attitude, and an intense desire to proclaim the Gospel and teach about gender dysphoria and transgender.

Recently, I met this rare bird in the person of Kimberley Beregrove.

I met her through another person, who learned of my books through Kimberley mentioning them in one of her many YouTube videos. That person emailed me—and she and I also matched up in the important ways mentioned, above—and told me about Kimberley.

I connected with Kimberley and we immediately hit it off. The first time we talked, it was for over three hours. She’s a long-haul trucker, so she has time. While I’m not a truck driver, I am known to be a long-haul La-Z-Boy sitter, so, yeah, I can pull off a long conversation.

I mentioned Kimberley in my last post, because in a couple of her videos she said something to make my heart sing, which goes to why I have published my first two books.

In her video, “Update on my marriage,” she tells how it took her wife’s reading my story to finally grasp what her husband experiences—the struggle, the agony, the desire not to have gender conflict, the inability to simply rid oneself of it, and remaining in faith toward the Lord Jesus.

Kimberley begins speaking about me at 3:12. At 4:08, she starts talking about how her wife reacted.

Kimberley does not live full time as a woman. Indeed, it’s only been since this past summer that she goes on the road as Kimberly as she lives as Peter at home. She is the very rare trans person who is willing and able to present as both female and male which, indeed, is an important display of her integrity of spirit.

At the 10:40 mark, Karen speaks of the impact on her from reading my books.

Kimberley’s most recent video is a great example of how she discusses being transgender and Christian, and using hormone therapy as a viable medicine for the gender dysphoric Christian. I highly recommend this video to you.

In “Transgender acceptance,” I like how she uses one’s being left handed to one’s being transgender. I’m left handed. I didn’t choose to be left handed. And no one chooses to experience gender conflict and transgender.

I encourage you to check out Kimberley’s homepage, where you’ll see her dozens of videos. The amount and variety are not nearly as impressive as the content and her ability to gently and respectfully discuss every topic.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6MiiwWpRS-Ttn_PNyO61ng

Keep up the good work, Kimberley! Your gentle spirit, desire to teach, and proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ fulfill what our Lord encourages in us, in Mathew 5:16: “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Amen to that!

Moms contact me the most

Far and away, I hear most from the mothers of trans children and trans young adults. These women have found my blog and are now reading my books. They are searching for information, longing to understand, grappling with the new reality transgender has presented.

Last week, a mother posted the following review on my book page. The full review follows the photo.

When we look to people to show us God, we’re often disappointed. When we look to God to show us people, WOW. Thank you, Greg, for looking to God to show us people. This book is the most loving, calm explanation of the gender identity conversation that our children know and embrace as second nature. Greg explains the terminology, explores the science, and most of all speaks humbly and openly from his own experience. Thank you for the mirror into our common discomfort with differences, for dissolving fear by bringing the unknown into the light, and for lovingly taking our hands as we join you in your desire that we step out of the littleness of our hearts towards others and into the abundant grace and immeasurable love of our God, who knows us all as we long to be known.

To read all of the reviews, click here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08FHBNGQV/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i1#customerReviews

Of 37 star ratings given to my two books, 36 have given the full five stars, with the other at four stars. That a 97% rating. Both the ratings and the reviews demonstrate that the books do the job for which I wrote them: to enlighten and educate.

Some folks find me via Facebook. My profile is Greg Eilers, in Indianapolis. I’ll be glad to receive a note from you via Messenger. Here is my profile: https://www.facebook.com/porthopepizza/

Others message me through my website, https://gregeilers.com/. On my homepage, see CONTACT US on the top right of the screen. I’ll receive your message in my email, and will reply to your email address.

I keep private all persons who contact me. I never reveal information that will break confidentiality.

I typically reply the same day, and always within twenty-four hours.

Some folks prefer to keep our correspondence via email. Many like talking on the phone or via video chat. I’m happy to oblige whatever works best. I’ve received long emails and provided equally detailed replies. I’ve had long conversations on the phone and via video. I have time for you and a desire to be of service.

If you have read, or will be reading either or both of my books, please consider posting a review. If not a review, please give them a star rating.

As you see from the review, above, you can post anonymously. You can do so as an Amazon customer or use an alias.

The more reviews posted, the more the books will receive credibility and attention, the more people will learn of them and might be helped in their struggle and desire to understand.

All of the moms, and all of the relatives and pastors and friends, who have reached out to me have one thing in common: they want to understand. Understanding comes from knowledge. Knowledge comes from reading and learning. That’s what my books and this blog provide: knowledge to foster understanding.

Understanding allows us to be compassionate—and whatever our situation in life is, we all long for others to show us compassion.

I hope no one hesitates to contact me—moms, dads, siblings, pastors, friends, Christians, neighbors, coworkers, grandparents . . . and trans persons, from whom I am still contacted. I am here for you all.

The holiday giving season is upon us. My books make great gifts to anyone searching for information and help, assisting all to open doors and build bridges.

Find my books here, both print and ebook versions: https://www.amazon.com/Greg-Eilers/e/B07N7FM54X?ref_=dbs_p_pbk_r00_abau_000000

Content as a guy

Every Sunday, I inject estradiol, a synthetic form of the female hormone, estrogen. I just hit the two year mark since going on a low dose of it.

After completing my transition from male to female, I stopped hormone therapy. After a few months, my bones, muscles, and joints hurt. My doctor said it was because my hormone levels were too low.

My sex hormone levels resemble those of a genetic female. Indeed, at the last check of my blood, my estrogen was high, so my endocrinologist had me reduce my dose by twenty-five percent. See the tiny bit in the syringe? That weekly dose keeps my bones, muscles, and joints strong.

Because I no longer produce anything but a tiny bit of testosterone, my sex hormone levels are reverse from what they should be for a male. Yet, I feel completely male. I’m nearly at the three year mark since it started.

It was the day before Thanksgiving in 2017 that I completed the last of my operations: facial feminization surgery.

The day after.
Two days after surgery.
Before and after.

I spent the final five weeks of 2017 with a splendid case of euphoria, feeling absolutely giddy. I’d done it! The seemingly impossible! I’d completely transitioned and I finally felt right. I was done with the years of seeing a therapist, figuring out how to navigate my inner turmoil, taking every step in transitioning—medical, social, legal, surgical—and I was ready to finish my life as Gina.

Christmas 2017. My smile reflects how I felt.

My euphoria didn’t make it seven weeks. The second week of 2018, I couldn’t figure out what was going on inside me. Within days, I knew what it was. I’d returned to the old fight, a male and female striving for dominance in me.

Soon, I realized it wasn’t that—it wasn’t a fight between the two, but rather that I felt completely male and I couldn’t believe it. I’d just completed my transition, and now I feel male? Now??? I was angry, confused, and lost.

How long would it last? That was the big question. I didn’t trust it. When I experienced it in 2013, in the first months after I started hormone therapy, it endured for six weeks. And when, in 2014, I stopped and restarted hormones two times and it returned, it remained fewer weeks. Would this be like those times?

Did I want it to last? At the time, I did not. (It wouldn’t be until the end of April that I finally felt I could trust it and embrace feeling exclusively male.)

I hesitated telling Julie. The end of January, I finally did. She was so flummoxed, she said almost nothing. The look on her face said, “Are you kidding me?”

Unlike in 2013 and 2014, this time it remained. I came to realize it was because my hormones finally settled into place—no more fluctuation of my testosterone—reverse for a male, but perfect for my messed up endocrine system.

By April, I was living more as a man than a woman. In May, I was back to male all the time. In July 2018, I went public.

And it stuck. I am thoroughly and completely content that I am a male.

These days, it’s hard for me to look at photos of me as a female. Though I lived as Gina for three years, and it only concluded in 2018, those years seem a lifetime ago—as if they were someone else’s life.

That’s an interesting observation, because it is how I felt when I experienced myself as a female. In those days, my entire previous life—fifty-seven years!—seemed like the life of another person. It was as if I was looking at the photo album of a different person.

And, now? Looking as me as a female is surreal, that it can’t possibly be me, but has to be a different person.

It doesn’t matter that I have the surgeries to prove that I transitioned. They don’t affect my feeling male.

I can’t avoid the surgeries. They affect me, every day. Indeed, all I have to do is smile. There it is, the numbness I continue to experience in the top and sides of my head.

While I wish I hadn’t had to go through all I did to get to this point—who wouldn’t avoid the years of struggle, the rejection and strife, the surgeries, the cost?—I believe I had to. Therefore, I regret nothing.

I learned so much—and now have substantive proof that my condition is hormonal—and have put it to good use. Last year, I published my memoir. This year, I published Ministering to Transgender Christians. With those books and this blog, I’ve been blessed to help many people—transgender persons, family members, pastors, and more.

After fifty years of gender conflict, I finally experience and enjoy inner contentment.

My new book: chapter topics

I’m holding the proof copy of my book in front of the cover artwork, the creation of my daughter Erin, which hangs above my computer. Using the proof, I photographed the title page of each chapter. Here we go!

Pastor Jon Klein perfectly sets the table for the book. He never imagined having a transgender person in his congregation … until he did. Desiring to minister to that person, he found me. A friendship was formed. He graciously agreed to my request to get the book off to a good start.

I use my daughter’s struggle with depression to open the topic of gender dysphoria—both being daunting, mysterious challenges.

This book is the culmination of my life. Everything about me led to my desire and need to write this.

I love provocative openings. This chapter is filled with them. My aim? To lay things on the table. In the first two chapters, I make clear where I’m going and seek to accomplish.

This is a book about Christians and for Christians. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is our foundation. Sadly, the Gospel so easily gets messed up, and never more than in how trans folks are treated.

Deadname. Bottom surgery. HRT. Cisgender. Genderqueer. Lots of words and terms are unique to this discussion. Here they are, up front and handy.

Well, that says it!

That says it, too, but now things are not so straightforward. I dig deep to penetrate what might be behind this vexing condition.

One of my favorite chapters, perhaps because it arose from an aha moment. Working on the previous chapter, I dropped the “dysphoria,” and began pondering. Soon, I was staring at a list of intriguing, important ideas.

Trans persons transition socially, legally, medically, and surgically. There’s no one way to do it. Describing every aspect, I keep separate how adults and youngsters transition.

Gender dysphoric and trans persons attempt suicide more than TEN TIMES the rest of the population. This chapter lays out why.

This discussion is about real people. I profile several folks I’ve gotten to know, who are in various situations.

A number of biblical passages are used to stop and stifle all discussion that being transgender is anything but sinful. I address each of the passages typically cited against trans persons.

With the topic of transgender, so many misconceptions are held—and those that hold them think their thinking is correct.

We’ve never done it that way before. How often we hear this in the church to stop whatever change someone has suggested! Well, how about this: We never believed it that way before. You know, as in mixed race marriage. Or suicide. Or the role of women in the church. Now, let’s add transgender.

In a sense, everything up to this chapter was table-setting. Here, the book becomes a how-to text. Step by step, information to know and questions to ask will equip a person to provide compassionate spiritual care to gender dysphoric and transgender Christians.

More how-to, a miscellany of information so that no topic is left unaddressed and the reader is thoroughly informed.

My favorite chapter, because this gets to the heart of the work of ministering to Christ’s people. This is a keep the main thing the main thing chapter. It’s all about Jesus Christ. It’s all about the Gospel.

Justin is one of the persons I profile in Chapter 10. As I was nearing the completion of the final draft, things were developing with his addressing his gender dysphoria. Our conversation in February made for a fitting conclusion.

And that’s it. That’s the book. Order it here: https://www.amazon.com/Ministering-Transgender-Christians-Resource-Christian/dp/B08FRJLQBG/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

My new book: now available!

Ministering to Transgender Christians: A Resource for the Christian Church is now available for purchase on Amazon in paperback and ebook editions: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08FRJLQBG/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Who would benefit from reading this book?

Anyone interested in learning about gender dysphoria, how it affects a person, what it means to be transgender, and how those who have trans relatives and friends might show them compassion, will benefit from this book.

While the book is geared toward how transgender Christians are widely viewed in congregations, with an eye toward better seeing them as genuine brothers and sisters in Christ who experience a unique, challenging, and often difficult condition, with the aim toward providing them with compassionate, spiritual care, every chapter contains insights that transcend the Christian faith.

When I began writing, I thought I was talking specifically to pastors. I had been a pastor, and when I was a trans woman it was primarily with pastors I interacted. Over the eighteen months since beginning to write, I found that it was important to speak to a wide audience.

Pastors might be the prime readers, as they lead congregations and minister to the entire flock, but pastors are not the only ones who are lacking in transgender education. Not only are pastors not the only church leaders who provide spiritual care, the topic of transgender affects everyone.

  • Christian counselors will find themselves sitting across from those who have made the difficult declaration that they experience gender conflict.
  • Teachers in Christian schools will have children whose gender identity does not match how everyone knows them, and those with siblings and friends who have socially transitioned.
  • Those who attend to the business of congregations need to be informed so that they can support their pastors, assist their members, and address for the good of all matters regarding transgender members.
  • Lay people need to be no less knowledgeable. If a member transitions, they deserve to be informed. How is this person being treated? This might be their friend, or someone with whom they serve on a committee, or the person who always sits in the pew in front of them. Regardless, all trans church members are their fellow believers. For the sake of all, every church member deserves to have a good education in a challenging subject.
  • Let’s not forget those who serve the greater church body. Decisions about transgender persons are coming down from the top. Those at the top should make decisions based on sound information and good theology, or else the congregations they serve and their members will not be properly served.

In my next post, I’ll provide a synopsis of each of the book’s seventeen chapters.

My second book: coming in August!

Too many church bodies, and individual pastors, church workers, and Christians, have done and continue to do a disservice to transgender Christians. Knowledge is lacking in what it means to suffer gender dysphoria and all that can result from it, especially transitioning sexes. In the reports, articles, and suggestions for pastoral care I’ve read, I’ve wondered if any of the writers have ever talked with a transgender person or done any thorough study of the topic.

In these pages, I endeavor to provide helpful information and sound doctrine as I explain about gender dysphoria, discuss God’s Word, and provide a path toward compassionate spiritual care for transgender Christians.

I am in a unique position. Because I’ve been there and done that both as a minister and a transgender person, my experience is vital in key areas. As a transgender woman, I received the long arm of the Law when I craved the sweetness of the Gospel. Only the faithfulness of the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, can take credit for my not ditching Christ and the purity of His Word.

Having been a minister, my heart is with pastors and all in positions of service in the Church. With gender dysphoria and transgender persons, you’ve been presented with new, unusual things which, on the surface, according to your education and experience might seem cut and dried. You want to do right by the Lord, and you want to do right by the persons you serve. It is my desire to help you, to provide the assist you need so that you might, indeed, do right by the Lord and His people.

The book’s title and subtitle declare my motivation. I’ve written in equal measure for the sake of transgender Christians and for the sake of the Church.

My prayer is that you find me faithful to the Word of God in all I write. My hope is that the Church would have a compassionate heart for a group of people who want to love the Lord, but whom, too often, are rejected by Christians.

The six paragraphs, above, conclude the first chapter of my new book, Ministering to Transgender Christians.

Where my first book, A Roller Coaster Through a Hurricane, is the story of my life, this book is its culmination. Contained in these 128 pages explains how the book came to be:

  • from a young age, a strong sense of justice and truth were formed in me, both which I have found lacking in how trans persons are treated
  • summarizing the story I detailed in my memoir, from my suffering gender dysphoria, to my transitioning, to how I was treated by my fellow Christians when I was transgender
  • what I learned along the way about the suffering of trans persons and the misunderstanding of them, both of which are especially acute for transgender Christians.

Since 2013, when I began telling pastors about my gender dysphoria, and especially during the three years (2015-18) I lived as a trans woman, I recognized my fellow Christians needed two things so that they might treat fairly their brothers and sisters in Christ who are transgender.

1. A proper understanding of gender issues

Too many Christians believe trans persons are mentally ill or have given in to a sinful desire. I detail what gender dysphoria is and what might cause it, keeping separate sexuality and how we experience gender.

The profiles of a number of gender dysphoric and trans Christians shows that members of churches large and small, in cities and rural counties, are affected. These Christians long to be faithful to the Lord. They didn’t choose this vexing situation, and they have to find a way to live with it.

2. A way forward

Understanding is vital, but more is needed. I lay out a thorough, step-by-step guide to providing spiritual care to gender dysphoric Christians, along with insights for helping family members and congregations.

I am especially excited about the how to section of the book. I am not familiar with a resource to guide Christian leaders, lay persons, and congregations in specific ways to compassionately minister to their members who suffer gender dysphoria or have transitioned.

When and where will the book be available?

All that’s left of the publishing process is for me to receive and review the proof copy, which should happen in a few days.

The book, in print and ebook versions, will then be available on Amazon, just as is my memoir, A Roller Coaster Through a Hurricane.

My next book: seeking input

My daughter, Erin, painted the art that I’m using for the book cover.

Ministering to Transgender Christians (MtTC) will be the second book I publish, after my 2019 memoir, A Roller Coaster through a Hurricane. I anticipate publishing MtTC this Spring.

MtTC is written to pastors, but will be a resource for any Christian, congregation, or church body seeking information on gender conflict and how Christians might better extend the love and compassion of the Lord Jesus to their brothers and sisters in Christ who are transgender.

A number of pastors have consented to reading the current draft. Most of them are Lutheran. Some are from other church bodies. I am especially interested in more ministers reviewing it, who are not Lutheran, but if any Lutheran ministers are interested I’d like to hear from them.

The chapters:

  1. Why I wrote this book. My memoir in miniature, with what moved me to this book.
  2. First thoughts. Table-setting, provocative things to have in mind.
  3. Key terms. A glossary of words covering the topic of transgender.
  4. What is gender dysphoria? A thorough explanation of the conflict between biological sex and gender identity.
  5. What causes gender dysphoria? I examine the many and various possibilities behind one experiencing sex/gender conflict.
  6. What causes gender? Digging behind the dysphoria, seeking to grasp why we experience ourselves as we do.
  7. Transitioning. Everything trans persons might utilize to live in the gender they experience.
  8. The suffering. Those with gender dysphoria can live in anguish as they strive to grasp why they feel as they do. Then, when they tell others, they face a whole new set of struggles.
  9. Get to know your brothers and sisters in Christ. I profile a number of Christians who have reached out to me—those striving in their dysphoria and those who have transitioned; those who have not been welcomed in their churches; young and old, married and single, trans men and trans women; and spouses and parents.
  10. Theologically speaking. I address all of the Scriptures pertaining to the topic.
  11. What transgender is not. Worse than not understanding, misunderstanding is rampant.
  12. Sticky situations. Pastors often find themselves in baffling spots. I examine many, past and present, with an eye toward grasping how to deal with trans persons.
  13. Pastoral care. An in-depth, step by step guide as to how pastors can provide spiritual care to their gender dysphoric or trans members.
  14. The Gospel. A proper understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is vital. This is the most personal chapter, as many pastors and Christians took the Gospel from me when I was a trans woman.
  15. Nearly final thoughts. A host of short topics to begin to bring a wrap to the discussion.
  16. The properly-purpose-driven pastor. Having been a parish pastor, I am especially keen as to the need to keep the most important thing the most important thing.
  17. Epilogue. One of the folks I profile is Justin. He returns in Nearly Final Thoughts. As I was finishing the current draft, his story took a dramatic turn.

If you are a minister and are interested in reading MtTC before publication to help it be a great resource, please reach out to me. If your pastor, or you know of a pastor, who would be a good candidate for reviewing it, please let me know.

You need not know anything on the topic. You might be opposed to any Christian transitioning sexes. Or, you might have already learned about gender dysphoria and being transgender. I am interested in feedback from pastors across the board.

Get Greg on Ellen


Would you give me a helping cyber hand?

I made a short video in which I tell Ellen DeGeneres the essentials about myself, my transition to female, why I’m back to being a guy, and that I wrote it all down.

I can’t think of a better voice than Ellen Degeneres’ with which to unite mine, to make my story widely known so that I can educate regarding gender issues, what it means to be transgender, and to grow compassion in our fellow human beings.

If the cyber community would widely share my video, perhaps I could grab Ellen’s attention. I am confident that if she watched it, she would love to have me as a guest on her show.

I can’t do it without you. Please, share my video, and encourage others to share it. Thank you!

Here’s the script from which I worked:

Hey, Ellen~

Greg Eilers, here.

Like you, I had a secret, one so big that I could never imagine it getting out.

Mine was a lifetime of gender conflict. Finally, when I was in my mid-fifties, I was hurting so badly I could no longer stuff it down.

Addressing it meant that I had to tell my family. And my whole world. And quit my job.

I was a Lutheran minister, Ellen—where they don’t have LGBTQ pastors. You can imagine how it went over when I revealed, “I have gender dysphoria.” And later when I said, “I need to transition, or else I’m either going to lose my mind or kill myself.”

Ellen, for three years—2015 to 2018—I lived as a trans woman. I transitioned legally and had every surgery. In 2016, Indianapolis Monthly published the article I wrote. (Show magazine.)

I know what your thinking. Hey, you’re a guy. What’s up with that?

That’s what I said! Soon after I finished my transition I stopped experiencing myself as a female. That was a new kind of gender dysphoria hell.

Thankfully, all along I was writing. (Show book.)

Those who’ve read my story say they couldn’t put it down. I want to use it to educate about gender issues and what it means to be transgender.

I published it myself, so I don’t have anyone to help me promote it. Ellen, will you help me get the word out? Will you have me on your show?

2019: 3 unthinkable things

2019 was mostly an excellent year. I achieved an older goal and a newer one, both which had seemed insurmountable, even unthinkable. Along the way, another unthinkable thing occurred, one that cut deeply.

I’ll get that one out of the way, so that I can end on a high note. In the spring, I was told that if I continued to go the local transgender support group, there were some who would not attend. Because I did not want to be a roadblock for anyone, I elected to stop attending.

Julie and I started going to this group in January 2015. We attended most meetings. We received support and provided it. Because Julie was able to grasp transitioning in a loving, compassionate manner, she was especially helpful to SOFFAs (significant others, family, friends, allies). With my pastoral experience and natural gift for gab, and because I experienced every step in transitioning, I too offered my share. Indeed, the Christian faith was a familiar topic, especially those suffering rejection by Christian family members, and I regularly provided insights and understanding.

A year earlier, I had resumed living as a male, so why would I want to continue to attend? The reasons were numerous. This had become my group. I had made some good friends. Retirement from the ministry had ripped me away from people; this group filled a void. And, because I like helping others, I could continue to be helpful.

Even more, what I experienced in feeling male after transitioning proved beneficial. As I related what was going on, others opened up. I broke the ground for some to admit that they don’t always feel strictly male or female, and it sometimes scares them because they transitioned.

A young trans woman approached me about what she was experiencing. She visited at our house a few times, where we had long talks. Soon, she resumed living as a guy. He’s doing fine now, feeling he’s sorted through things. I was happy to help him.

Others admitted that my detransitioning scared them. I suspect that one or two didn’t want me at the meetings because they feared what happened with me could happen with them.

One of those trans women unfriended me on Facebook, without saying a word. She and I had been close. It hurt a lot.

Indeed, the Facebook unfriending became rampant. No one told me, of course; they simply did it. I had to figure it out, recognizing I was no longer seeing them in my newsfeed.

Many didn’t unfriend me, but they’ve kept their distance. Only one local trans woman has acted the same toward me as she did when I was a trans woman.

I found it all so absurd. Some of the same people, who cry for acceptance, now rejected me. I was the same person I always had been, but by no longer identifying as transgender they turned from me.

They turned from me the way they hate how others turn from them.

And so it goes. There is no one group of people fully able to do for others what they ask from them.

My final meeting came right after I received my memoir in print. I brought it to the meeting. Before leaving, I addressed the group. I read some paragraphs, showing them how I was still supporting them. My final words to them were, “Whether or not I see you again, I will be speaking up for you and educating wherever I can.”

In 2020, I will publish my second book, Ministering to Transgender Christians.

That’s a nice segue to the older of the two major goals I achieved in 2019. I had long been wanting to write a book, which I thought would be a novel. (That sits in my computer, unfinished and untouched for years.) Ever since my therapist, in 2013, told me to write what I was experiencing with my gender dysphoria, I had been compiling my memoirs. In September 2018, I completed the first draft.

At that time, I knew nothing of self-publishing, so I had no clue whether I would be able to get it into print. When I learned that I could, cost free, publish it through Amazon, I was elated and took the plunge.

The other previously unthinkable goal, which I’ve only had since taking up jogging year-round in 2016, was to log one thousand miles in a year. I hit the mark the first week of November. As I type this on December 30, the following screenshot from my app reveals where I stand for 2019.

My 2020 goal? 1,200 miles—to average 100 per month.

My second 2020 goal? Publish my second book.

My third 2020 goal? Get cracking on promoting my books and my program of transgender education.