Australia’s first transgender priest

The ABC has just introduced us to Australia’s first openly transgender Anglican priest. Jo Inkpin, who was ordained in 1986, told the ABC he would at times cross-dress secretly, until eventually he discovered “this was not about cross-dressing but was a fundamental question of identity and wanting to live authentically as a woman.” Now, in his 50s, Inkpin is officially making the transition, which he believes will make him a better priest.

According to the ABC’s report, the Archbishop of Brisbane, Dr Phillip Aspinall, supported Dr Inkpin’s decision and passed on a statement to clergy in July 2017, which said it was, “a deeply personal journey involving a lifetime struggle with gender issues and personal identity. That journey has now culminated in a decision to transition gender and a formal request to be known by the wider diocesan family as Josephine or Jo.”

Inkpin’s wife, Penny Jones, who was one of the first female priests in the U.K., is now rector-in-charge at the parish of Auchenflower-Milton in Brisbane. Jones is standing by her husband’s decision, however, the two do not regard their marriage as a same-sex union, but simply “anomalous.”

David Ould, Senior Associate Minister at St John’s Anglican Cathedral, today published an excellent piece in which he points out:

Contrary to some claims, the Biblical data appears clear on this issue. God really did create us in his image as male and female. This creation is holistic, encompassing all of the person, and it is very good. The trans person experiences a movement away from this very good creation as a result of the Fall. Their hope is not in transition now but in Christ and his very good promises which the church receives and waits for together.

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