Expressions Of Faith & Religion From The Gender Diverse Perspective
Come join us as we explore the unique perspectives of our Gender Diverse Community around topics of faith, religion and life. Our panel is open for a candid discussion on the challenges of our current political environment, and how it has affected their livelihoods. Our guest panelists will speak about God and their personal walks of Faith and coming to terms with the very notion of their gender identities and how it has affected relationships with family and the world around them. This conversation will certainly open eyes and hearts as we explore spirituality on a deeper level and what it means to be human.
Jessica is your Director of Religious Explorations for Children & Youth.
Her spiritual journey began as a young child in the Catholic Church after she was baptized by her parents as an infant. As part of her Hispanic culture, she later attended studies to receive her first communion and confirmation. In her early 20’s, she would find herself in an evangelical Christian church and having been, “born again”, she took a seminary course and became a youth pastor. That was a short-lived journey, as her struggle with her marriage and subsequent divorce hindered her ability to preach. This is when her walk with faith would take a turn to a more personal one and her transition into womanhood would begin.
My life has been a journey. As a middle eastern Muslim human being who was born and raised in Egypt, the challenges I encountered as a Transman whether was there or here in the U.S, was what made me stronger and enlightened, I choose that path. Despite all the down times I always choose to see the light even if it was at the end of the tunnel.
Mason is a Jewish educator and cantorial soloist in South Florida for 20 years. Miami Beach born and raised, Mason’s passion for all things Jewish truly shines. On the bima leading prayer, Mason’s spirituality is moving. When it comes to youth engagement, Mason is magnetic. But his communities and the students who have known and loved him for so long didn’t always refer to him as Mason, because he was assigned female at birth and presented female until 18 months ago, when he came out to his family and community as transgender. He looks forward to sharing more about his personal transition journey and the Jewish community who accepted him in his authentic self.
Thomas is the CEO of 3T Fitness Lifestyle. The son of a well-known pastor in Panama, Thomas supports the work of YES Institute, as he successfully navigated coming out as a transgender male within a religious family and community. He is passionate about opening authentic dialogue with many diverse groups of people so that everyone can experience peace, joy, and compassion with their friends and loved ones.