Mx Chris Paige is an OtherWise-identified transgender activist who seeks justice through work as a writer, organizer, and educator. Mx Chris uses they/them pronouns and has been involved in several kinds of LGBT faith-based organizing through the years, most prominently as executive director and co-founder of Transfaith.
In 1999, Mx Chris created a small website called Transfaith Online to gather information about transgender spirituality. Mx Chris came back to the Transfaith project in 2007, relaunching the website which resulted in deepening Mx Chris's relationships among transgender spiritual/cultural workers over several years. Mx Chris was involved in the founding of transgender groups in the United Church of Christ (UCC GenderFold Action Alliance in 2010) and The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries (TransSaints in 2009), as well as ground-breaking multi-faith programming at the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference. Mx Chris went on to become was conference chair of the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference in 2011 as it emerged as the largest transgender conference in the world. In 2012, the once-small project of Transfaith (www.transfaith.info) turned towards multi-faith, multi-racial, multi-gender organizational development, hiring Mx Chris as executive director. Mx Chris stepped down from the executive role after 6 years and continues as operations director.
Shifting back into publishing, Mx Chris launched OtherWise Engaged Publishing (http://otherwiseengaged4u.wordpress.com) in order to provide a platform for prophetic, transgender, intersex, and OtherWise voices. Their first book, OtherWise Christian: A Guidebook for Transgender Liberation (2019) garnered a coveted “starred review” from Publisher’s Weekly, which called it “invigorating” and “a treasure trove of resources.” The OtherWise Christian series will continue with an anthology, title OtherWise Christian 2: Stories of Resistance (due out early in 2020). Meanwhile, their website, http://otherwisechristain.com, began to assemble timelines and other resources of interest regarding transgender Christian history.
Mx Chris’s second book launched the “OtherWise Reflection Guide” series, starting with Christian Faith and Gender Identity: An OtherWise Reflection Guide (2019), which provides a gentle introduction to transgender experience. Additional titles are anticipated.
Chris was named to the Trans 100 in 2014, was named an inaugural Arcus LGBT Leadership Initiative (ALLI) fellow in 2013, received a "patron of humanity"award from the Philadelphia Metropolitan Community Church in 2011, and received an achievement award from FTM International in 2010.
Chris has long been engaged in ecumenical and multi-faith organizing. Chris served as coordinator of the YES! Coalition for several years, building relationships among diverse LGBT-affirming faith communities in the Philadelphia-area. Chris served on the council of CLOUT (Christian Lesbians Out Together), as communications coordinator for the UCC Coalition for LGBT Concerns (www.openandaffirming.org), an advisor on the Witness Our Welcome 2003 conference, and has been a part of the National Religious Leaders Roundtable for many years.
Chris was on the staff of the award-winning progressive, ecumenical Christian magazine The Other Side from 1994 to 2003. From 1999 to 2003, they served as publisher, and helped shape the magazine's May-June 2001 ground-breaking issue on transgender concerns. It was there that Chris met then-Methodist clergy, the Rev. Beth Stroud. Their 15-year relationship included a nationally publicized church trial in 2004 that was eventually appealed to the Judicial Council, resulting in Rev. Stroud's credentials being defrocked due to the so-called "same sex" relationship.
Baptized in a Christian Reformed Church in Lansing, Michigan, in 1971, Chris was confirmed and ordained an elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Chris graduated with a B.S. degree in Math, Computer Science, and Religion from Mary Washington College (now University of Mary Washington: www.umw.edu) in Fredericksburg, Virginia, in 1994. Chris has been a member at Tabernacle United Church (www.tabunited.org) in Philadelphia for more than 20 years and is in care at Living Water United Church of Christ (www.lwucc.org), also in Philadelphia. Chris is blessed with supportive family by birth and by adoption.
Photo: Dezjorn Gauthier
(This biographical statement provided by Chris Paige.)
Biography Date: November, 2007; rev. December 2019
Presbyterian Church (USA) | United Church of Christ/Congregational Church | CLOUT (Christian Lesbians OUT) | Open and Affirming in the UCC (ONA & formerly UCC Coalition for LGBT Concerns) | Trans Faith | Author/editor | Online activist | Queer/non-conforming | Transgender activism | Pennsylvania | Philadelphia