Through scriptural reflection and personal stories about gender identity, an ordained priest moves the conversation beyond transgender inclusion to demonstrate the unique and vital theological insights transgender Christians can provide the church.
Father Shannon Kearns is familiar with liminal spaces. He’s lived in them his whole life. And while his experience as a transgender man has often made it difficult for him to fit in—especially in the context of Christianity—it has also shaped his perspective in important ways on complicated, gender-transgressing aspects of theology and Scripture.
In the Margins weaves stories from Shannon’s life into reflections on well-known biblical narratives—such as Jacob wrestling with the divine, Rahab and the Israelite spies, Ezekiel and the dry bones, and the transfiguration of Jesus. In each chapter, Shannon shows how stories have helped him make sense of his own identity, and how those same stories can unlock the transformative power of faith for those willing to listen with an open mind and stand alongside him in the in-between.
Transformed: One Hour Drama
Ayden worries that his wife will leave him, Jim worries he’s going to lose his kids, and Sam feels he has nothing left to lose. It’s 2008 in NYC and a group of men with nothing in common but the fact that they’re all transgender try to figure out how to support one another.
Freedom, Kansas: One hour drama
After a personal crisis a trans priest gets sent to rural Kansas to save a dying congregation that doesn’t want to be saved. It’s a last ditch attempt for both of them and if he fails? It might be more than the congregation that dies.
Family Unit: One hour drama
A transgender man talks about growing up in religious fundamentalism. This one person show, performed by the playwright, is a journey through evangelical pop culture of the 90’s telling stories of fear, first love, theatre, and what comes next.
Cast: 2 transgender men, 4 cisgender men, 1 cisgender woman, 1 trans masculine teen.
A fever dream, a man caught in Limbo. In the midst of a crisis what do we remember and how? Joshua is a bartender who feels a calling to be a priest. Oh, and he also happens to be transgender. Caught between worlds, caught between his trans friend Peter and the guys at the bar and the stuffy church warden can he make a difference in anyone’s life or is he just not enough of anything to count? What does it mean to choose visibility in a world where the visible often lack safety?
Cast: 2 transgender men, 1 cisgender man, 1 cisgender woman
In this play big city idealism and small town realities intersect. Ben and Amanda love their town. They love their neighbors. Sure, they sometimes disagree, but they are comfortable. When Liam, Ben’s former college friend, comes to town on a campaign to get people to “vote blue” their idyllic life is threatened. Can people remain friends even when they disagree? How is it for transgender folks who live in rural areas? And who has the right to defend themselves?
Cast: 1 trans masculine teenager, 1 tgnc person, 5 people of various gender identities and ethnicities
Alex hates everything. He hates school. He hates being bullied by his classmates and teachers. He hates that his parents don’t accept him and keep trying to fix him. He hates how alone he feels. But what if Alex is more powerful than he thinks? In the midst of a tragic event, Alex discovers something supernatural inside of him that he didn’t know was there. But will it be enough to change what needs to change?
Cast: 4W, 2 transgender men
Pam and Ryan couldn’t be more different. He is a young transgender man and she is an older conservative woman but when they are both diagnosed with cancer their lives intersect in ways that neither of them could have ever imagined.
This work explores questions of identity, relationships, our health care system, and who has control over your body and life.
Cast: 4 cisgender women, 1 transgender man
Jamie, a transgender man, gets called back to his family home by his mother, Catherine, with the cryptic message that his sister, Emily, is in trouble. With the support of his loving wife, Alison, Jamie comes home to confront family struggles, a mother that doesn’t recognize him, and a past that he thought he had left behind but that impacts him in ways he can’t even see. A touching story about family, connections, and what it means to have a home.
Cast: 1 plus size cisgender woman, 1 transgender man
Ayden and Jess have been dating. They both think that tonight might be “the night”, but each one is nervous for their own reasons. Ayden hasn’t been with anyone since his transition. Jess is afraid that her size will make Ayden run away. Can they overcome their insecurities to be intimate with one another? How can they embrace vulnerability in the midst of fear?
Want to know more about Shannon’s plays or read a script? Check him out on the New Play Exchange.