Charis welcomes Dr. Paula Stone Williams in conversation with Rev. Duncan E. Teague for a celebration of AS A WOMAN: What I Learned about Power, Sex, and the Patriarchy after I Transitioned. A moving and unforgettable memoir of a transgender pastor’s journey from despair to joy as she transitioned from male to female and learned about gender inequity, at home and in the workplace. This event takes place on crowdcast, Charis' virtual event platform. Register here.
As a father of three, married to a wonderful woman, and holding several prominent jobs within the Christian community, Dr. Paula Stone Williams made the life-changing decision to physically transition from male to female at the age of sixty. Almost instantly, her power and influence in the evangelical world disappeared and her family had to grapple with intense feelings of loss and confusion.
Feeling utterly alone and at a loss after being expelled from the evangelical churches she had once spearheaded, Paula struggled to create a new safe space for herself where she could reconcile her faith, her identity, and her desire to be a leader. Much to her surprise, the key to her new career as a woman came with a deeper awareness of the inequities she had overlooked before her transition. Where her opinions were once celebrated and amplified, now she found herself sidelined and ignored. New questions emerged. Why are women’s opinions devalued in favor of men’s? Why does love and intimacy feel so different? And, was it possible to find a new spirituality in her own image?
In As a Woman, Paula pulls back the curtain on her transition journey and sheds light on the gendered landscape that impacts many in the LGBTQ+ community. She urges men to recognize the ways in which the world is tilted in their favor and validates the experiences of women who have been disregarded based solely on their gender, while also acknowledging how she was once like those men who are blind to their privilege. With equal parts humility and confidence, Paula shares her lived experience of both genders and offers a truly unique perspective on the universal struggle to understand what it means to be male, female, and simply, human.
Dr. Paula Stone Williams is an internationally known speaker on gender equity, LGBTQ advocacy, and religious tolerance. She is also a pastor and pastoral counselor in Boulder County, Colorado. Paula has been featured in the New York Times, TEDWomen, TEDSummit, TEDxMileHigh, Red Table Talk, the Denver Post, the New York Post, New Scientist Magazine, Radio New Zealand, and many other media outlets. Her TED talks have had more than five million views.
Rev. Duncan E. Teague, is the founding minister of three-year-old Abundant Love Unitarian Universalist (UU) Congregation in SW Atlanta, GA, an African American community. He has served on the UU Ministers’ Association’s Committee on Anti-Racism, Anti-Oppression, and Multiculturalism (CARAOM). He can be seen as a guest presenter on Dr. Henry Louis Gates’ “The Black Church: This is Our Story This is Our Song” (2021). He is a senior member of the performance poets, The ADODI Muse; A Gay Negro Ensemble. His narrative is featured in the award-winning book, a documentary, and stage productions of Sweet Tea, an anthology of Black gay men's lives in the South by E. Patrick Johnson, Ph. D. He resides in Decatur, GA with his longtime companion and husband, David Thurman.
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This moving and unforgettable memoir of a transgender pastor’s transition from male to female is an “audacious, gripping, and profoundly real journey that speaks to the mind, heart, and soul” (Joshua J.