Father Shannon T. L. Kearns grew up in the evangelical church and somehow held onto the story of Jesus as everything around him fell apart. Kearns eventually came out as trans, and in 2013 became the first openly trans man ordained into the North American Old Catholic priesthood.
That same year, Father Kearns and Brian Murphy started the Queer Theology podcast and queertheology.com, both of which offer an ever-growing and life-saving body of resources for queer people of faith and spiritual seekers. Kearns founded House of the Transfiguration in Minneapolis, where he continues to minister, focusing on marginalized communities. In addition to his theological and pastoral work, Kearns, an avid playwright, founded Uprising Theater Company, dedicated to “telling stories that change the world,” written, acted, and produced by trans and gender nonconforming artists and artisans.
All of Father Kearns work helps to move the needle forward, away from non-affirming theologies. Earlier work in queer theology was apologetic, debunking the “clobber passages” and arguing that it is “ok to be Christian and gay.” Kearns’ work celebrates the contributions of gay Christians; he joyfully, sensitively, and brilliantly affirms that the Bible offers good news for queer and trans folks, and that the church has much to learn from their experiences and perspectives.
Read and Listen for:
- Resources for being queer and Christian
- Queer and trans readings of scripture
- Ways to support loved ones who are coming out and/or transitioning