Jan 5, 2020
Growing up in a traditional southern church, Christina King quickly learned that she wasn't accepted. That's because her church saw her and people like her as anathema: living embodiments of sin. King at an early age knew that she was a transgender woman.
But to verbalize how she felt about herself wouldn't have been received kindly by her conservative Lutheran Missouri Synod congregation. Their attitudes were informed by the so-called "clobber passages," verses some use to justify the belief that any deviance from heterosexual norms is sinful.
King spent much of her youth estranged from the church. She came to a place, she said, "where she had to be herself or kill herself." That separation was painful because even though she felt ostracized, a part of her missed the congregation's sense of community.
Her estrangement ended because of the influence of a pastor at the First Lutheran Church of Galesburg, Illinois, the city she moved to after growing up in the south. This pastor accepted Christina for who she was, but also encouraged her to reach out to others who because of their LGBTQ+ orientation had felt victimized by the church.
King did so and shortly after the 2016 presidential election started a group called Safe Space. The group has been meeting regularly since then.
In this podcast, King shares her evolution as a transgender woman, common misconceptions people have about trans people, and how a life of prayer helps her stay upbeat in a challenging political climate.
King last year was named Miss Trans Illinois.