Thursday, February 14, 2008

Ooo...can I be a part of this agenda too?

Given my last paper was titled originally Origen and the Angry Inch, and then retitled Breaking Both the Vessels: Narrating the GenderQueer Kingdom of God, I think I'm already there.

Via Peterson Toscano (who will be in Memphis this month!), Christianity Today's take on the "Transgender Movement."

This article demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of gender identity, overlooks transgendered persons who do not feel the need for SRS, as well as genderqueer persons, gender outlaws, and any other persons floating about in the gender spectrum.

Further, anyone who is paying any attention at all when they read the Bible should be able to pick a cue here and there that gender is constructed in different ways in different times and places. Elements of gender queering remain in the New Testament -- eunuchs for the kingdom of God anyone -- even if J.C. didn't mean that statement literally, the implication of saying that in a society which considered eunuchs to be walking the line in between women and men, is certainly a striking idea. Mary of Bethany is praised for ignoring her traditional womanly gender role and taking up a studious masculine gender identity. Early church hagiography is rift with gender bending saints. The early church didn't seem to have much of a problem with "glorifying wierdos." And this is only what made it past the canon redactors.

Do a bit of digging and a lot of other stuff pops up! Joseph's "technicolor dream coat" -- yeah, the only other time that Hebrew word is used in the Bible -- it refers to the garment worn by the virgin daughters of King David.

Suggested Reading:

She's Not the Man I Married, Helen Boyd, of (en)gender -- I'm only about halfway through, but this is both clear and nuanced introduction transgenderness.
Homoerotic Narrative in Hebrew Bible, Theodore W. Jennings, Jr.
The Manly Eunuch, Matthew Kuefler
Love Between Women: Early Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism, Bernadette Brooten

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