Stories connect us, help us empathize with one another, expand our minds, and change our perspectives. Stories have the power to change the world.
Since I was a little kid I have loved losing myself in stories. Back then it was to escape the pain of being a queer kid growing up in a hostile world. Stories were protection and comfort, they were a balm to my soul and a refuge when I was in pain.
These days I still like losing myself in stories. I like the feeling of connection that occurs when I read a line that so perfectly resonates with my own life, or that moment when I feel seen. I also like the empathy that comes when I can enter into someone elseâ€™s story and understand, even if only a little bit, what itâ€™s like to be them.
With my love of reading stories, of finding the perfect words to describe something, of painting pictures with phrases, it makes sense that I would turn to telling my own story. In essays and sermons and pictures I tell the story of my life. I tell the story of my journey from growing up as a fundamentalist evangelical in rural Pennsylvania to becoming the first openly transgender man ordained to the Old Catholic priesthood. And of course I tell all of the stories of the twists and turns along the way.
So thank you for being here and for reading my stories. I hope that in them you find those coveted moments of â€œme too!â€ where you felt seen and heard. I hope you find empathy for transgender people. I hope you find a companion on your journey.
Wondering what’s next?
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[colorbox color=”#00bde6″]For an official bio please use the following:[/colorbox]
He graduated from Union Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity and is an ordained priest in the Old Catholic Church.
Fr. Shay is a sought after speaker on queer theology, transgender issues, and the intersections of identity and faith.
Heâ€™s been published in Geez Magazine, Lavender Magazine, Believe Out Loud, and the Huffington Post, and featured in The Advocate and the Star Tribune.