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Meet Trans Christian YouTuber Austen Hartke

Meet Trans Christian YouTuber Austen Hartke

Meet Trans Christian YouTuber Austen Hartke
elielcruz

Austen Hartke was tired of hearing the false dichotomy of being either trans or Christian. Hartke is both a trans man and a Christian, and he uses his YouTube Series as a way to show how he reconciled his sexual, gender, and faith identities.

“There have been quite a few times over the years when I've tried to not be a Christian,” Hartke says. “There have been times when I was angry with God, times when I felt beaten over the head by people who identified as Christian, and times when I just felt that somebody else must have better answers to my questions about life. I spent a lot of time as a teenager looking for some proof that God existed and that that God was the one I read about in the Bible.”

The conclusion Hartke came to? Despite being beaten up by Christians, he found his faith in God and scripture was just as real as his trans identity.

“My identity as a Christian is based in my experience of a God who keeps drawing me back, over and over, even when I have one foot out the door,” Hartke says. “Beyond that, as a transgender person I'm absolutely in awe of a God who would become human and who understands the complexities of having a body. Jesus, as God incarnate, complete with tears and hunger and dirty feet, speaks directly to the importance of our bodies as part of the human experience.”

Hartke went to seminary and used his education to help him understand a biblically based, credible approach to his gender identity. He long ago reconciled his gender and faith and decided to share his knowledge. He started his YouTube series Transgender & Christian to help fill the void of trans Christian resources. 

"For many other trans folks, the pressure to choose between authenticity and faith can have deadly consequences," Hartke says. "I wanted to create something that would help other trans Christians realize that no matter what happens as they explore their gender identity, God is with them and for them and loving them."



His advice for other transgender Christians is to own their identity, saying "God understands."

"If I were speaking to a trans person who felt pressured to give up on God in order to be who they are, I'd say this: God understands," Hartke says. "Peter gave up on God three times, and Jesus still drew him back in the end. And if I were speaking to a trans person who felt pressured to hide who they are — to try to hide their deep knowledge about themselves in order to keep from upsetting people of faith — I'd say this: Taking that first step out of the boat to try to walk on water is really scary, but God is there, ready to take your hand and hold you up. No matter what, you are not alone."

Follow Hartke's YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter for more trans Christian content. 

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Eliel Cruz

<p>Eliel Cruz is a culture commentator, speaker, and writer on LGBT issues, emphasizing on bisexuality, religion, and media.</p>

<p>Eliel Cruz is a culture commentator, speaker, and writer on LGBT issues, emphasizing on bisexuality, religion, and media.</p>