When Dallin H. Oaks mentioned those who “confuse or alter gender” in his talk “Truth and the Plan” last October, many members interpreted his comments as condemning transgender members. But the history—and future—of gender variance in the LDS Church is as rich as it is a vital part of our community. Transgender members may have existed in the Church as early as the nineteenth-century, and their experience poses unique questions about what our doctrine means when it says that gender is eternal. This piece would highlight notable transgender Mormons in history as well as how teachings on gender identity have changed over time, as well as the unique perspectives transgender members bring to our community and the challenges they currently face.
Andy Winder, Mary Ann Clements