Andrew James Blair was born Anne Bennett on 20th January 1954 and is a female to male transsexual. Andrew is a Life Professed Franciscan in the Ecumenical Franciscan Order, and Deacon actively involved in a parish of the Cathedral Church of the New Jerusalem (ECCA), the Parish of the holy Redeemer.
Andrew was born is Sedgley, England and migrated to Australia on New Year’s day 1967 where he grew up in the bush with his brother and sister. He became a ‘Born again Christian” while on retreat given by the Lawrence Parish of the Maclean Baptist church. About a year later he began to experience epilepsy and the fixation that he was lesbian because of his attraction to women. After graduating high school in 1971 Andrew trained as a nurse during 1972 at the Prince of Wales hospital in Randwick NSW, but this career ended in July that year by a seizure whilst on duty.
Andrew married his husband in August of 1972 with the belief that living the supposed normal life would take care of the issues of sexuality. Married for 24 years before separation, Andrew and his husband had two children one is gay and in a long term relationship and the other is married with four children, ranging from 16 years of age to a second-grader.
Throughout Andrew's life as a stay-at-home parent he was always active in whatever denomination he found himself, mostly as a Catechist or Lector, sometimes as a Chorister. In the early 1980s Andrew’s family converted to Catholicism and he obtained his Certificate A in Religious Education and began serving as a Liturgist, Lector and Adult Faith Educator--positions he held until his transition in 1998.
At the beginning of 1994, Andrew had developed bi-polar affective disorder resulting from brain damage due to epilepsy. During this period he began to realise his manhood. During his transition Andrew returned to study and obtained a BA in Psych/Philosophy and upon completion in 1998 went on to obtain a certificate III in telephone counselling before volunteering for the Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service of NSW. He left there when the Service moved to a more inaccessible suburb.
In September 1998, Andrew met his future wife Jessica at the Gender Centre and became engaged New Year’s Day 1999. They were united in a Service of Holy Union in the Uniting Church in August that year. In May of 2003, Andrew and Jessica were legally married in a Nuptial Mass at the Pro Cathedral of Saint John the Beloved - then the Ecumenical Catholic Church of Australia.
It is now more than 10 years since their legal marriage. In the interval Andrew has worked voluntarily with the terminally ill as an Art Therapist but now requires more time for his current ministry.
Part of Andrew’s current ministry as a Franciscan is as Formation person by whom he guides Aspirants through the various stages to Life profession. This is done both face to face in Australia and via the Internet for those overseas.
Andrew also acts as a mentor for members of the GLBT Community overseas using Skype and assists other overseas members of the ECCA, via the same technology.
Andrew began writing Apologetics for Queer Christianity in the late 90s and now continues writing Liberation Theology and is currently involved in a project to foster an honest reading of the Quran.
Andrew is Jessica’s full-time career and, while at home, he designs and administers the following:
(This biographical statement provided by Andrew Blair.)
Biography Date: July, 2005
Ecumenical Catholic Church | International Human Rights | Queer/non-conforming | Transgender activism | Australia
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