Fr. Matthew — Thank you for a more reasoned response to Caitlyn Jenner’s coming out and the current conversation around trans* identities than I have seen on many Catholic sites. Your insight that there may be trans* people in our faith communities where we minister, especially youth who are more vulnerable, is nearly absent from non-progressive Catholic spaces.
That said, I have to contest your proposition that gender transitions come from psychological hurt. I work closely with the LGBT Catholic community and have come to understand that these transitions, or simply presenting as one’s authentic gender identity, are holy paths and part of trans* folks road to saintliness. It is one of the processes by which they become their truest self, the person to which God is calling them to become. I recently wrote about this in a blog post and would add my invitation in the post to you if you’d like to learn more about gender identity: https://newwaysministryblog.wordpress.com/2015/06/11/caitlyn-jenner-the-archbishop-fr-barron-and-me/
Caitlyn Jenner and other trans* people have prompted a graced moment for all of us to learn more about gender identity and, for ministers, the particular pastoral care implications that trans* folks provide — and the gifts they offer our faith communities! Let us all pray we may grow in love as we seek greater understanding.