Alternative Title

Transformation: Establishing Interdisciplinary Support for the Transgender Experience Through Historical, Biological, and Religious Lenses


Quite frankly, nothing could be more relevant to a modern discussion about what it means to be human than the emergence of discourse on transgender identity. By looking at the long history of human evolution, the impact that the progressing fields of science and medicine have had on human development, and the human need for bodily autonomy, it should be taken for granted that transgender issues belong in public discourse and that transgender people deserve to enjoy the same rights and freedoms all other humans share. This research advocates for best and most inclusive societal practices for transgender individuals by specifically looking at human evolution and biology and by considering analogous situations in the non-human animal world that legitimize transgender identities and provide support for transgender people. While science and history provide a strong precedent for what we now consider the modern notion of transgender identity, religious opposition poses the direst threat to their progress and integration in largely Christian, Western societies. My research, therefore, also includes biblical evidence that illustrates a way in which transgender people feature into the story of Christian creation, and it refutes the most common objections to their full inclusion in the Christian community. Using interdisciplinary approaches and providing suggestions for best practices, this dissertation aims to provide provable support for supporting rights for transgender people.

Degree Date

Summer 7-13-2023

Document Type


Degree Name



Simmons School of Education and Human Development


Mag Gabbert

Second Advisor

Nick Tsarevsky

Third Advisor

Rick Halperin

Subject Area

Humanities, General/Other

Number of Pages




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