On Jan. 19, 2013, I was ordained as a the first transgender priest in the North American Old Catholic Church. I am a rather unlikely priest. I grew up in a fundamentalist evangelical church that taught that women should not be ministers and that LGBT people were going to hell. My gender was assumed to be female at birth, but something about that never felt right to me. Around puberty I started to feel a discomfort with my body, but I had no words to explain what was going on. Around this same time I started to feel called to be a pastor. These two realizations about myself would continue to grow together and complicate one another.
Father Shannon Kearns is ordained in Minneapolis, by the North American Old Catholic Church, which is a progressive and LGBT-inclusive branch of Catholicism.