Thank you for joining us!

Meaningful Movies Offered by The Episcopal Church in Western Washington and St. Timothy Episcopal Church, Chehalis, WA proudly offered an online screening and panel/community discussion of Transhood. More than 350 people registered, donating over $1,000 to benefit Rural Youth Alliance, a non-profit dedicated to serving SGD (sexually gender diverse ) youth in Lewis County, WA and beyond. We’re deeply grateful to Bunim-Murray Productions for making this wonderful film and for their generous sharing.

Directed by Sharon Liese and filmed over five years in Kansas City, Transhood chronicles the lives of four young people (aged 4, 7, 12, and 15 at the start of filming) and their families as they navigate growing up transgender in America’s heartland. By sharing personal realities of how gender expression is reshaping their lives, the film explores how these families struggle and stumble through parenting, and how the kids are challenged and transformed as they experience the complexity of their identities.

We were honored to welcome our panel, The Rev. Carla Robinson, Canon for Multicultural Ministry and Community Transformation for the Diocese of Olympia, Director/Producer Sharon Liese, featured parent from the film, Debi Jackson, and Rural Youth Alliance Co-founder, Katrina Wulff.

Support the SGD (sexually gender diverse) community by using the suggestions for action and advocacy below. Re-visit or catch up with the panel discussion recording.

Learn More – Watch our panel discussion below and explore additional resources:

Transhood Discussion Guide – The stories in Transhood underscore the reality that there is no “single path” for young people who are discovering and articulating their gender identity. The particulars of Avery, Jay, Leena and Phoenix’s gender journeys are unique, yet, they share some experiences in common: Each has transitioned to some extent, that is, found a way to align their outer gender expression and/or physical body with their inner gender identity. Each has also had to maneuver through the challenges of interpersonal relationships and school experiences with the support and advocacy of others, namely their parents. Visit the webpage to find information and resources on transitions, as well as a range of related topics, written by Mimi Lemay, transgender rights advocate and parent, and author of What We Will Become: A Mother, A Son and a Journey of Transformation.

What We Will Become – A Mother, a Son, and a Journey of Transformation By Mimi Lemay (Mariner Books)

A mother’s memoir of her transgender child’s odyssey, and her journey outside the boundaries of the faith and culture that shaped her. From the age of two-and-a-half, Jacob, born “Em,” adamantly told his family he was a boy. While his mother Mimi struggled to understand and come to terms with the fact that her child may be transgender, she experienced a sense of déjà vu—the journey to uncover the source of her child’s inner turmoil unearthed ghosts from Mimi’s past and her own struggle to live an authentic life.    

Take Back the Word | A Queer Reading of the Bible edited by Robert E. Goss and Mona West (Pilgrim Press)

Perhaps the most revolutionary contribution of Take Back the Word is its presentation of resistant practices of reading the Bible that challenge oppressive applications of Scripture to “clobber” queer folx. If lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender, non gender conforming, and questioning people are to take back the word of Scripture for themselves, they must take it back in a new way. Essays examine queer strategies for reading, queer ethical models from the Hebrew Scriptures, and queer good news stories from the Christian Scriptures. An impressive assembly of contributors bring their wisdom to the work of taking back the Word, including Justin Tanis.

How to They/Them – A Visual Guide to Nonbinary Pronouns and the World of Gender Fluidity By Stuart Getty, Illustrated by Brooke Thyng (Sasquatch Books)

What does nonbinary really mean? What is gender nonconforming? And isn’t they a plural pronoun? In this charming and disarming guide, a real-life they-using genderqueer writer unpacks all your burning questions in a fun, visual way. No soapboxes or divisive comment-section wars here! Sometimes funny, sometimes serious, always human, this gender-friendly primer will get you up to speed. It’s about more than just bathrooms and pronouns–this is about gender expression and the freedom to choose how to identify. While they might only be for some, that freedom is for everyone!

Beyond a Binary God – A Theology for Trans* Allies by Tara K. Soughers (Church Publishing)

All are made in the image and likeness of God. If this is what we believe, then trans people, like all people, reflect something of God, and not just in the ways that they share in common with others, but also in the ways that they are different. They remind us that God is beyond all of our categories, even gender. In this book, Tara Soughers explores theology from the position of a trans ally—a parent of a trans young adult as well as priest. What does it mean about God and about humans, that there is not a strict gender binary? How can we affirm and include what we have learned about the permeability of boundaries to affirm those whose path does not follow traditional cultural stereotypes, and how might the broadening help us to understand the God who is never two for Christians, but both one and three? What gifts does this broader understanding bring to the church? (An EfM Interlude selection.)

Radical Love – An Introduction to Queer Theology by Patrick S. Cheng (Church Publishing)

Contextual theologies have developed from a number of perspectives—including feminist theology, black theology, womanist theology, Latin American liberation theology, and Asian American theology—and a wide variety of academic and general introductions exist to examine each one. However, Radical Love is the first introductory textbook on the subject of queer theology. In this lucid and compelling introduction, Cheng provides a historical survey of how queer theology has developed from the 1950s to today and then explicates the themes of queer theology using the ecumenical creeds as a general framework. Topics include revelation, God, Trinity, creation, Jesus Christ, atonement, sin, grace, Holy Spirit, church, sacraments, and last things, as seen through the lenses of LGBT theologians.

Outlove – A Queer Christian Survival Story by Julie Rodgers (Broadleaf Books)

After decades of bouncing between hope and despair, Evangelical, Baptist-raised Julie Rodgers found herself making a powerful public statement that her former self would have never said: “I support same-sex marriage in the church.” Outlove is about love and losses, political and religious power-plays, and the cost to those who sought to stay in a faith community that wouldn’t accept them. Shedding light on the debate between Evangelical Christians and the LGBTQ community–a battle that continues to rage on in the national news and in courtrooms across the country–this book ultimately casts a hopeful vision for how the church can heal.

To Survive on this Shore (website) – Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults

Representations of older transgender people are nearly absent from our culture and those that do exist are often one-dimensional. For over five years, photographer Jess T. Dugan and social worker Vanessa Fabbre traveled throughout the United States creating To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults. Seeking subjects whose lived experiences exist within the complex intersections of gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, sexuality, socioeconomic class, and geographic location, they traveled from coast to coast, to big cities and small towns, documenting the life stories of this important but largely underrepresented group of older adults.

Action/Advocacy/Donate – Visit these websites to learn more about how to support LGBTQ/SGD community.

  • Family Equality – With the mission to advance legal and lived equality for LGBTQ families, and for those who wish to form them, through building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change, Family Equality provides resources to support and build families, provide current information about issues, campaigns, and potential advocacy.
  • Rural Youth Alliance – a non-profit dedicated to serving SGD (sexually gender diverse ) youth in Lewis County, WA and beyond.
  • GLSEN – a non-profit organization founded by teachers to champion LGBTQ issues in K-12 education.
  • Pride Haven – Pride Haven is SAVE, Inc.’s overnight shelter for transition-aged youth, aged 18-24, facing homelessness. Our safe and accepting space offers a welcoming and affirming environment for all youth. Kansas City, MO.
  • The Trevor Project – the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning) young people.
  • Trans Lifeline – Trans Lifeline provides trans peer support for our community that’s been divested from police since day one. We’re run by and for trans people.
  • The Gender & Family Project (GFP) – empowers youth, families and communities by providing gender affirmative services, training and research. GFP promotes gender inclusivity as a form of social justice in all the systems involved in the life of the family. 
  • PFLAG – The PFLAG Chapter Network – with over 400 chapters across the country–provides confidential peer support, education, and advocacy to LGBTQ+ people, their parents and families, and allies. PFLAG chapters are in communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. With 200,000+ members and supporters crossing multiple generations of families in major urban centers, small cities, and rural areas, PFLAG has been saving lives, strengthening families, and changing hearts, minds and laws since 1972.
  • The Human Rights Campaign – HRC envisions a world where every member of the LGBTQ+ family has the freedom to live their truth without fear, and with equality under the law. We empower our 3 million members and supporters to mobilize against attacks on the most marginalized people in our community.
  • The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide.
  • Stonewall Youth – Based in Olympia, WA. Founded in 1991, Stonewall Youth is a youth-led organization that empowers LGBTQ+ youth to speak for themselves, support each other, educate our communities, and work for social justice.

Watch our panel discussion, a wonderful conversation with two transgender youth from Transhood, two videos from Stuart Getty, and the beautiful closing music from our panel/community discussion.

Re-visit or catch up with our May 20, 2022 Panel/Community Discussion.
“Culture Closeup” features a conversation with two trans youths from the film, facilitated by a.t. Furuya of GLSEN, an organization championing LGBTQ issues in K-12 education. They discuss important moments in the film, the impact of having participated, and highlight the myriad experiences of other trans, nonbinary, gender-nonconforming and gender-expansive youth beyond what’s portrayed in the film.
What does nonbinary really mean? What is gender nonconforming? And isn’t they a plural pronoun? Stuart Getty, a real-life, they-using genderqueer writer, unpacks all your burning questions in a fun, visual way. No soapboxes or divisive comment-section wars here!
A short documentary about that frisky pronoun and the brave people who rock it. As seen at Portland Film Festival and Translations (Seattle Transgender Film Festival.) Check for more info.
Guide Our Feet will soon be available for people to download and purchase at The Reverb Collective

More About Our Transhood Panel:

The Rev. Canon Carla Robinson, a graduate of Concordia Seminary (St Louis, MO) served as a Lutheran pastor for 13 years before coming to the Episcopal Church. She was received into the communion in 2001 and was an active member of St Mark’s cathedral for several years. She has served as the Administrative Assistant for Multi-Cultural Ministry and the Secretary for Vocations in the Diocese of Olympia. Since her ordination in 2009 she has served as the curate at the Church of the Resurrection in Bellevue and as the vicar of All Saints in Seattle’s Rainier Valley neighborhood. She has served as associate priest at St Mark’s Cathedral, The Church of the Ascension in Magnolia, St James in Kent and Christ Church in the University District. She is currently serving as Interim Priest at St Matthew San Mateo in Auburn.
Sharon Liese (Director, Producer,) is a critically acclaimed and award-winning filmmaker who directs and produces documentary projects that air on major television networks and screen at many prestigious film festivals. Liese’s award-winning feature documentary Transhood premiered on HBO in 2020 and was featured on THE ELLEN SHOW and GMA. The film won several awards including Audience Award for Best Feature Documentary at AFI Docs. Liese also created and executive produced Pink Collar Crimes, a true crime series for CBS. She is currently directing and executive producing a limited series for Starz and directing a film for National Geographic that has already been optioned for a Broadway musical produced by Mark Gordon.
Debi Jackson (featured in the film, with child Avery,) became an accidental advocate for transgender rights in 2014 when her speech about her child’s social transition at the age of 4 went viral. The self-described former “conservative Southern Baptist Republican from Alabama” now speaks on behalf of transgender children and their families around the world. She has been interviewed by media across the US, the UK, France, Greece, Russia, Ukraine, South Africa, Colombia and Brazil. Debi is a founding member of the Human Rights Campaign’s Parents for Transgender Equality Council, has been a consultant on an Emmy Award winning ACLU documentary about transgender children. Debi trains schools across the US on creating trans-inclusive policies and how to best support students through their transitions and has assisted the NEA in updating their training programs for their 3 million members.
Katrina Wulff co-founder of Rural Youth Alliance of Lewis County. Mother dedicated to serving rural youth especially Sexual Gender Diverse.

Questions? Please email Sylvia Sepulveda.

Learn more at the ECWW Meaningful Movies Page.

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Transhood – May