Pastoral Psychology

, Volume 63, Issue 2, pp 171–184 | Cite as

Transgender Lives: From Bewilderment to God’s Extravagance

  • James D. Whitehead
  • Evelyn Eaton Whitehead


Bewilderment is an emotion often evoked by the topic of transgender. Even among those of good will, questions arise that seem to undermine many of the established understandings of personal identity and sexuality. This essay examines bewilderment as a salutary experience, a biblically sanctioned virtue that can lead to a new appreciation of God’s extravagance. The testimony of several transgender persons is examined, confirming the role of gender transition in their maturing in faith.


Bewilderment Transgender Gender identity Discernment 



We are especially grateful to the two Catholic Sisters, seasoned spiritual directors for many transgender persons, who have served as mentors for us in the past year. (They prefer to remain anonymous, due to ecclesial concerns.) And we thank those transgender persons who have so generously shared their life stories with us.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Pastoral StudiesLoyola University (Chicago)ChicagoUSA

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