Rev. RJ Robles is a LGBTQ afro-indigenous borikua scholar-activist-healer. They seek to continue the strong legacy of trans people of color organizing and mobilizing collective care for trans liberation and healing. Rev. Robles holds a Master of Divinity (M.Div) from Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, Tennessee.. In school, their research focus was the intersections of race, gender, sexuality and religion.
They have professional experiences serving a range of different communities as a direct care service provider in the fields of HIV/AIDS, transgender healthcare, domestic violence, Black and Brown spiritual healing, BIPOC colonial trauma healing, healing among community organizers, and transfeminist community-based projects.
Their notable advocacy work involves helping to launch the Trans Buddy Program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. This program offers peer-to-peer support for trans people who are accessing and navigating transition-related healthcare.
RJ’s passion is to break the cycles of intergenerational trauma that occurs in childhood under colonial histories. This commitment has led them to seek several healing certifications. They have striven to become a certified practitioner in sound healing, Reiki, Theta Healing, Movement Trauma, and IFA. Their teachers and mentors in these healing modalities include master practitioners like Crow Miller, Vianna Stibal, Vickie Gould, Dieniz Costa, Teresa Mateus, Godfather Adonis, and Rev. Louis Mitchell.
RJ promotes decolonizing spiritual and religious practices at the intersection of Black and Latinx LGBTQIA+ concerns about and pursuit of healing and wellness. Their spiritual practices and service are multivalent. For example, they have served as a board member to Trans Faith, a national organization led by trans people. Transfaith is a multi-tradition, multi-racial, multi-gender, and multi-generational organization working to support trans spiritual and cultural workers. RJ serves as a member of the Encuentros Latinx Advisory Committee for the United Church of Christ where they work to increase the representation and participation of queer and trans Latinx people in church. They are an active council member for Disciples Alliance Q, as a clergy member in the Christian Church Disciples of Christ.
RJ feels they have been called to join the movement transforming the Christian Church into a just and inclusive church. RJ currently is a youth healing coach working with the National Queer and Trans Therapist of Color Network.
In all these capacities, RJ enjoys co-creating rituals of decolonial and politicized healing for Black and Brown, queer and trans communities. They will continue in this work as they believe that a better world for all becomes possible when spiritual practices are grounded in revolutionary love, healing, and organizing.
(This biographical statement written by Enoch Page from an interview with RJ Robles.)
Biography Date: March 2023
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) | Clergy Activist | Black | Trans activism | Trans Faith
“Rev. RJ Robles | Profile”, LGBTQ Religious Archives Network, accessed March 27, 2023, https://lgbtqreligiousarchives.org/profiles/rj-robles.