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.

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.

Name change day, take two

On Tuesday, April 16, I return to court, aiming to legally return to Greg, to being recognized as a male, to the person identified on my birth certificate.

Since May 2, 2016, I have legally been Gina Joy Eilers. In August of that year, the judge made official that I was a female.

I thought I would legally be Gina for the rest of my life, or at least until I grew old and decided I wanted to die legally as Greg. As I’ve chronicled, the change in me that occurred in January 2018 was beyond my wildest imagination, and when my new sense of being male stayed and stuck I gradually resumed living as a male.

I’ve not had a whiff of gender dysphoria since early last year. Even going back on a low dose of estrogen in November, which I found I needed for the sake of my muscles and bone strength, hasn’t cause a disturbance in my feeling exclusively male.

Now, I find myself undoing everything I can to resume being a guy.

After changing my clothes and cutting my hair, addressing my name is the most practical thing for me to do. My driver’s license is for Gina. Thankfully, I’ve not had to show it in the past year, and I really don’t want to be in that spot: “You see, officer, it’s like this … “

The same goes for my credit cards. I mind the situations in which I use them. I will employ them when I can swipe or insert, but not when I have to hand them over. Only when Julie’s with me do I allow myself to be in a spot where the card needs to be handed to a cashier, and then she uses her card.

I’ll also have to get my identity changed with Social Security, on our mortgage, my pension, and more. Yippee.

This undoing of a name change is unique enough that I’ve been unable to find any help in assuring I’m doing it correctly. Because I needed a doctor’s letter the first time, I figured I should have one this time. Since I’m not seeing a medical doctor as I was then, I visited the psychologist I saw last spring. He wrote a letter affirming that I’ve successfully resumed living as a guy.

I hope I get the same judge. While I wouldn’t expect her to remember me, at least I could tell her that I was in her court three years ago, and if she has any concerns I can compare and contrast with when I was first in court.

I certainly don’t expect trouble, but this is such a wild card. I am anxious to get it accomplished.

The first time I went to court for my name change, as the group of us awaited the judge’s entrance I broke the uncomfortable silence, saying, “If I ever do this again, someone take me out to the woods and leave me.” It got a chuckle and fostered friendly chatter among us.

Well, I’m doing it again. I wonder if security will allow me into the courthouse toting a tent and a sleeping bag?

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.