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.

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.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Personally and professionally, tragedy has been a frequent visitor.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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:

Gina popped up when least expected

Julie and I sat across from the rep. He needed some info from us that we didn’t have in hand. We could get it online. So that Julie could use his computer, he stood and Julie took his chair.

She logged into our account. When she saw the wrong name, she naturally reacted, “Shoot. They still have you as Gina.”

“Gina???” the rep asked in a what on earth are you talking about way.

My elbows on his desk, I dropped my face into my hands. My mind raced. How should I respond?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I am now one and two/thirds years into feeling exclusively male. Things continue to go smoothly.

In April, I got my name legally returned to Greg. Between Julie and me, we undid everything we changed to Gina in 2016—drivers license, Social Security, credit cards, doctors and dentist, and the like.

The only visibly out-of-place thing about me remains my too-large breasts. I hide them as much as I can. I am hoping to have them removed in the near future … or not. That’s a ball that could come down soon or remain in the air for awhile.

I’ve tired of juggling it.

I now carry in my wallet forms of ID that are exclusively GREGORY. Though it’s been this way since May, I still find myself hesitating to use a credit card or show my drivers license, remembering the long months when I was presenting myself as a guy yet those things read GINA.

I can only figure that I had been so uncomfortable that it’s taken this long to subside. When I remember that the item in question now reads GREGORY, I sigh with relief.

Many places I go, they knew me as Gina. The places I go, where they didn’t know me as Gina, there’s no need for it to come up.

There was no need for it to come up last week. And it never would have, if not for the glitch online, with the business where Julie had gotten my name changed but their online info didn’t reflect it.

So, there I was. My face in my hands. With one confused rep.

I needed to address it.

Thankfully, both Julie and I had found the man likeable. Friendly. Professional. Helpful. Shoot, he even enjoyed my silly sense of humor—and I was in one of those moods where goofy things come easily to me and then they spew from my lips.

But at Julie’s, “They still have you as Gina,” his reaction grabbed me hard. This was the first time my being transgender was exposed without my deciding when it would be brought up.

That the rep was taken aback, and expressed it with the laugh of a person who couldn’t believe his ears, was, unquestionably, the to-be-expected reaction.

Always expect the unexpected, we were taught back in the 1970s by those TV commercials, so that we would be defensive drivers. But I wasn’t expecting this particular unexpected, and I was blindsided.

I removed my face from my hands and looked at the man. My silly goofiness was erased. Soberly, I said, “Yes, my name was Gina. I used to be transgender.”

Though clearly surprised, he received my news with grace. The rest of our time with him, I filled in a few of the blanks. Though he didn’t say, it seemed he had no experience with a trans person.

I told him I had published my memoir. On my phone, I brought up my book page on Amazon. He said he would enjoy reading it, and he would gladly pass it on for others to read. Julie beat me to the punch, offering to drop off a book. Our gift.

As our business with him worked toward its conclusion, the gray clouds parted and my sunny disposition returned. I was back to zinging wacky one-liners. He reacted and treated me exactly as before the revelation.

A few minutes earlier, I was telling him of some of the challenges of being transgender, the common hurdles and hardships. He said, “My parents always told me to treat others the way I want to be treated.”

Amen, friend. And you did exactly that for me. Thank you.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I look forward to seeing him this week, when I drop off my book.

I don’t look forward to being caught off guard like that again.

Though it has now happened, I don’t know if I would be able to react any differently.

Whirlwind reviews for “Hurricane”

My book has now received twenty-three reviews online. 22 of 23 have given it five stars. The screenshot, below, shows my rating and the latest review . . . and the photo of the hand—thanks, Sue!—shows where I grew up in Michigan (it’s a book reference).

The review might be too small to read. Here it is: This is a book that educates people about being transgender. I loved it! As a Christian, I appreciate the author’s sincerity and honesty in relating his experiences while maintaining and expressing his Christian faith. This book should be read by everyone, especially those who condemn transgender people based on their Christian beliefs.

To read the rest of the reviews, click on the book, below. Even better, you may purchase it today, either as a paperback or an ebook.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

While I hope to sell many books, there are some folks I can’t ask to shell out bucks for it. On July 7, Julie and I attended the annual Eilers family reunion. I took a bunch of books with me to Michigan. Indeed, as I toted a handful to the reunion’s picnic area, I inadvertently snapped a pic:

Announcing that I would be honored if anyone took my book, I set a stack on an end table. After we ate, folks began to grab them. I continued to refill the stack. I was pleased that fifteen were taken . . . and many folks asked me sign theirs.

One cousin zipped through it in a few days. Before you read her reaction, know that when she asked me to sign her copy she requested I note how she’s my best, most wonderful cousin. After her review, I’m not arguing.

She posted on Facebook: You two are amazing and I love you both and admire you so much! Sooo who will play you guys in the movie? Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow?

I have a call in to Matt’s people. I’ll let you know how that goes.