Angels, Monks, and Hormones

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What happens with the Southern Baptist preacher’s son, growing up in the conservative south, wants to become a nun? Or, more precisely, a monk, because it turns out that being female is something of a requirement to be a nun?

This is the story of a young man who wants to tend sheep in a monastery, hoping that, if he never sees another woman, he will be cured of gender identity problem.

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What happens with the Southern Baptist preacher’s son, growing up in the conservative south, wants to become a nun? Or, more precisely, a monk, because it turns out that being female is something of a requirement to be a nun?

“Angels, Monks, and Hormones” tells the story of a young man considering taking vows and living the rest of his life tending sheep in a monastery because he thinks that, if he never sees another woman, it will cure him of his gender identity problem. During the common meal with the monks, a brother reads Jesus’ words about how everyone will be genderless in heaven, like the angels. “I think I’ll like it here,” says Kent. “I’ve always wanted to be an angel.”

When he learns that monastic life won’t make him whole, however, he must learn to live in the world, first as a man, later as a woman after undergoing hormone replacement therapy and sex reassignment surgery.

Before she transitions from male to female, Kent’s father tells her that she would have a tough row to hoe. Why? Because he saw a drag queen once on Jerry Springer, and the audience hooted and howled in laughter.

But here’s the thing. Everyone sees the flamboyant drag queens because they stand out. They work hard to stand out. They’re entertainers.

For most of transgender people, however, the “trans lifestyle” means going to church, working long hours, raising their kids to be responsible young people, and trying to balance their budgets. In other words, they’re just like you, except that they have a unique understanding of the different life experience of men and women, because, unlike you, they have lived both. Regardless of her gender, Kent remains a spiritual person seeking wisdom anywhere that she can find it—even from the sheep in a monastery atop a cold, windswept mountain in western New York.


This special edition also contains the script to Kent’s live storytelling show, “Changing with Grace: When Daddy Becomes Mama Christy,” which premiered at the 2013 Minnesota Fringe Festival in Minneapolis to reviews such as “undeniably beautiful, graceful, and honest” and “a fascinating tale told by an endearing and eloquent teller.”

Several of the stories have won performance awards at Twin Cities performances, including:

“Pokemon, Gender, and You,” excerpted from “My Transition My Family’s Transition,” won first place at the St. Paul Moth Story Slam in June, 2013.

“Chat Room” was the first story ever to be judged a perfect 30 out of 30 at the SlamMN! story slam in Minneapolis in February, 2013.

“Finding My Voice” was a finalist at the Twin Cities Literary Death Match in May, 2013.

Whatever your interest, the stories in “Angels, Monks, and Hormones” and “When Daddy Becomes Mama Christy” extract powerful life lessons for everyone—regardless of gender identity—from our daily transgender experience. Don’t miss this special edition that contains both.

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