OtherWise Christian: A Guidebook for Transgender Liberation by Mx. Chris Paige is a love letter to transgender communities, a self defense manual against Bible abuse and Christian trans-antagonism, and the beginning of a historical record of how far we have come.
OtherWise Christian reviews 25 years of transgender-affirming biblical scholarship. Mx. Chris Paige argues that the Bible shows us story after story of OtherWise-gendered people being used by God to further the kingdom. Yet, we have been bamboozled by a restrictive gender ideology that is aligned with empire, white supremacy and Christian supremacy. Jesus and our biblical ancestors invite us to join a gender-full resistance!
Scholarly, yet accessible, OtherWise Christian takes the Bible seriously, while presenting new vocabulary to connect modern transgender (and intersex) identities with gender non-conforming themes in the Christian Bible. The result is a bold and unapologetic interpretation of Christian tradition that will have you re-reading familiar bible passages with new clarity.
"In many ways, this is the initial quick reference that I would have loved to find when I first started exploring my gender identity as a twenty-something Christian," says Paige about the book.
Look for the OtherWise Christian companion blog for additional content!
In this invigorating dive into scripture, writer and activist Paige (Christian Faith and Gender Identity) reads the Bible in provocative ways to affirm support for transgender experience. Paige's transgender lens on the text brings to the foreground lesser-known biblical figures (Deborah) and topics (eunuchs, mentioned 50 times in the Bible). Jesus's celibacy is fraught with meaning from a transgender perspective, Paige writes, and the argument that Joseph (he of the many-colored coat) was genderqueer is surprising yet plausible. Paige's study of the many eunuchs that appear in biblical stories, which he argues should be translated as "intersex," is especially strong and imaginative. The author also examines Jewish biblical exegesis for its insights into expansive readings of gender, and articulates a larger declamation against Western European colonialism as the source of oppressive gender binaries. This is a treasure chest of resources for those interested in ways transgender individuals can live faithful to God and to one's self. (Self-published.)