Miss Gwenllian

Look at who is displayed front and centre at the @scholarmqup table for Congress!



beth nawr yw’r ddadl ynglyn a’r iaith?

‘Featured image’: braint ac anrhydedd yw cyhoeddi y gwaith celf gwreiddiol wnaed gan yr artist Ruth Jên i ddathlu pen-blwydd Y Lolfa yn 50!

Pen-blwydd hapus i’r — bydded i fwy o Gymry Cymraeg gael eu hysbrydoli gan eich mentergarwch ddiwyllannol!

Murlun newydd Ruth Jên gydag eiconau cenedlaethol (2006):


Mae’r Lolfa wedi cyhoeddi cannoedd o lyfrau. Dyma edrych nôl ar y rhai fu’n boblogaidd iawn dros y degawdau!


#yagym : Meleri Wyn James: #NaNel


meic stevens: a’r brawd houdini


anweledig: 6.5.99

From a Lonely Seat at an Empty Table: Transsexuals and LGBT ‘Forums

The pros and cons of ”ally praxis” and the continued botching of having practical LGBT inclusion in the current milquetoast milieu of “feelings first” symposiums, and why I think it’s becoming a problem . . . this is a topic of increasing concern for me based on my experiences traveling, speaking, and being denied the right to speak.

Safe Spaces are turning into Insular Isolationism. The “shoo! don’t ask the hard questions” dictates of the liberal Catholic university aren’t help a jot. Forgive my usual bluntness, but pervasive and dangerous misunderstandings of trans people are not helped by generic LGBT pep rallies that that really in fact just push trans issues further to the periphery and invisible.

While so much good is being done to support queer and questioning undergrads — including some admirable examples by Jesuit priests who are openly campaigning against harrasment — the overall framework for education and solidarity especially for transgender Catholics on Catholic campuses is superficial and sketchy at best. Hugs are not enough.

Darllen Rhagor

Tea with Gwynfor

Near Macynlleth, 1996 — afternoon conversation and a cuppa with me —  Dr Gwynfor Richard Evans apologised for when his biro ran out of ink and his hand switched to a soft black for ‘six’. He was that kind of person. ❤


See here for information on Plaid Cymru hunger strikes, linguistic activism, and the creation of Welsh-language television.


Darllen Rhagor

I extend my sweetest thanks to Dr Laura Thor, co-panelist, colleague in study, and sister in faith; without her, I never would have made it.

Our panel was, in my estimation, a powerful collaboration between psychotherapist and theologian, cis and trans — discussing earnestly what the Catholic Faith means to an individual in transition and the role of faith in recovering from gender dysphoria.

Thanks to all who attended!

The research I presented here will be included in my forthcoming book The Theology of the Marginal Body: The Catholic Church and the Diversity of Sex. 

As both gender theorists and Thomist theologians misconstrue and misrepresent my scholarship on this subject, I am no longer posting blog entries or the like discussing transsexuality and theology in a public manner and will stick to academic venues of publication. Thank you for your understanding.



A Favorite Haiku by Issa


In this world

(on the roof of hell),

viewing cherry blossoms . . .
Kobayashi Issa



Catholic Trans Women: Dispatches from the Devil-Possessed 

“Suspicion often creates what it suspects.”
C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

It’s just not easy being Baphomet.

Of course, Caitlyn Jenner makes it look like one massive blast of everlasting fun, fame, facial surgery, and regularly scheduled cocktail parties with gender rebel comrades — drink flowing on demand, arguments take three episodes, everybody loves us, and the tab for the lot arrives off-camera.

But being the twisted embodiment of an Anti-Adam, the dupe who violates both the Imago Dei and the imago hominis simultaneously, takes effort. Effort driven by a demon called Sex Dysmorphia, who shapes Itself in the human world as a delusional male artificially repurposed to be a ghastly parody of womanhood. How else could such a blasphemous dismemberment of the gendered subject arise but from a Satanic power of unwholesome influence and intervention?

Yes, the transsexual experiences extreme discomfort in their anatomical corpus. But that’s the first step toward a deceitful ontology, engineered by the Father of Lies, and pushed upon us, the psychical incompetents.  Transsexuals, statues of the devil —  don’t the two just like immediately seem to go together?

Fr Dwight Longnecker vivisects transsexuality in his essay “The Devil of Detroit and Caitlyn Jenner“, wherein the title already contains the thesis.  Just a comparison, they say. Don’t take too literally, they say — yet his metaphors are consistently hellish. According to Longnecker, we rock the sympathy card hard, but troll tactically to tear apart the mortal condition. His analogy proposes, in retaliation, to explicate “some interesting details” [read: symptoms of Devilish influence] of my kind. And, as for method, Longnecker intends to debunk the hallucinations of severely disturbed trans people by appeal to allegory. If enough scurrilous associations can fantastically be put together, then situating transsexuality vis-à-vis Satan-worship will demonstrate that they are practically synonymous.

Thus, in Longnecker’s analysis, Caitlyn Jenner (our terrible spokeswoman) is a reflective morphology of the multisexed arch-enemy, Baphomet (our supposed dark lord). The author contends, in lieu of research, that a “visual illustration of what is going on” [read: demonic possession] will prove his point. So it’s really not a subtle pairing: Satan, trans women — all neatly allied, forever in league. Working with loaded juxtapositions, Longnecker observes, “As I looked at the image [Baphomet] and read up on it I saw that the Devil is portrayed as transgender or androgynous.” Longnecker thereby implies throughout his rumination that that the first to fall was also the first to trans. Ergo, transsexuals must be his compatriots: “This [read: They, as in trans women] is precisely what Satan is doing at this time with human sexuality . . . . trans genderism [sic], gender confusion and ‘identifying’ as whatever gender a person wants.” Transition in his view operates as a nefarious secret code for dark arts that motivate and direct us:

“[Transgender] Satan is the proper image for America’s current passion for total tolerance and the embrace of every kind of weirdness and perversion under the sun” (Longnecker).

And sure there’s nothing weirder or more perverted than a you-know-what! And, as if pointing to himself in gratitude, Longnecker assures us that we all “now know who is behind all the sexual depravity, perversion, confusion and fear in the culture of death” that the transsexual supposedly revels within.

Yep. You-know-who.

Darllen Rhagor

The Pope and the Eunuchs



“I happen to believe that you can’t study men;

you can only get to know them.”

C. S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength
If you want to cut straight to the primary propositions of this admittedly longish essay, please scroll to the section Five Important Implications for Transsexuals Arising From Pope Francis’s Remarks. The first half of this piece addresses the current gaps and problems in how transsexuality is observed in mainstream Catholic opinion pieces.
Thank you for reading: I understand the intense emotions this subject evokes.

The First of October! Weather, golden. Contrition of withered leaves cross-hatched with burnished bronze sunlight. Easily my favourite season. Favourite month even. Starting off with my favourite saint’s Feast Day!

Last Saturday morning, typing on my blog (which is a pasture of rambly reflections) the inkling urge had itched its way from idea to draft. For the first time in ages, I wanted to write: something like a tribute letter to dearest St Thérèse of Lisieux, keeper of my tears and tender of the ikebana in my heart. How I love her, even referring to the saint of collected blossoms as my “heavenly BFF“, calling out to her gaze with an unrestrained childlike confidence, through wounded singing and temperamental prayers. St T: you who led me back to the Church; you, renowned for your lack of subtlety in terms of touching souls, who continually makes appearances in times of severe struggle. The scent of a rose-wreath wrapped around an old olive cross, dripping with the tresses of petals, each a pain of penance and a scapular of patience. Doctor, mystic, author of transformative Peace.

Beginning kicked off OK: first paragraph. But typing turned into sand, and my fingers choked on their own indecision. As a petition for intercession began in my head, for St T to approach Our Lady, as the zenith of love’s simplicity, on my behalf . . . as beseeching began — panic onset. An inexpressible ache except to those who have endured the inner delirium of sexual dysmorphia. The screen went blank with buried question marks:

In heaven, would St Thérèse refer to me as “he”to the cold shoulder of angels? 

Me being who I am, uncertain of my continuing status in Canon Law or pastoral concerns . . . I’ve coped with the swelter of bad science made valid through media reiterations; of bishops launching contradictory declarations on “trans people” and “gender theory”, without ever defining either; of conservadox Catholic op-eds, eager for clickiest of controversies . . . and the incessant dismissal of transsexuals as deluded, hyper sexed, and loyal to filth and confusion. Overall, impossibly wrecked to approach the altar in clear conscience. As an actual transsexual (not transgender) Catholic trying to live faithfully and authentically according to the Church teaching — attending Mass daily whilst viewing a pulpit hardwaxed and polished by unclear opinions — the dread never departs. Has all hope or blessing been breathed out, once and for all, against me, like a defective candle snuffed in the brassy dark at the votive’s unseen end?

Whatever one’s individual opinion of transsexuality/gender theory/transgenderism, the  earnestly practicing trans Catholic worships from a place of divine love but also human incoherence. Poster-board priestly invectives — which filter down to ground-level pewish derision — have borrowed heavily from the manual of insulting analogies: from the denigrating, the quaintly condescending. Worst: the eschatological similes of thermonuclear warthe apocalypse of insanity; and the Devil’s culminating hatchet job on the Divine Image of God. Every time “Catholic” and “transgender” appeared together in a headline, I flinch in readiness for the next cling-wrapped rebuke. Yes, there were some voices of support for us, but the cubiclist mentality of moral opining, assuming but not stipulating  formal teaching, left little room for “shades of grey” engagement.

Sympathetic clergy, religious sisters, and congenial laity communicated to me in private, but avoided open interaction. How I wish I were a normal Catholic, I sighed. Because a transsexual Catholic is best not seen and most of all not heard.  Don’t ask, don’t tell. Better yet, don’t come. Yet my faith informed me that it didn’t have to be this way: splitting my head against indifference. But who is listening? The editorials chastised us as pitiable but goat-headed. The marginal body like an irritating hangnail clipped from the corpus of the church. I’ve been expecting the excommunication order to come down against us from the CDF quis ex, and that’d be the end. Such has the rhetoric ratcheted up into unsympathetic glee: the ultimate affliction of consumerist vanity — we, the  fictional quasi-women who carve our likenesses out of the salubrious gloss of magazine covers.

In reality, the Catholic transsexual is a liminal verse, in a way the 21st-century version of Matthew 19: 12’s eunuchs:

“… there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.”

And then yesterday!  — the Pope offered a few surprising remarks — albeit in that most misinterpreted of all Vatican genres, the mid-air free-for-all colloquium. Notably, for the very first time, his observations shook me out of my chair with  cautious optimism . . . we, as a Church, seemed to finally be coming into contact: and — “HEY,” I exclaimed,  “THE POPE IS SAYING WHAT I’VE BEEN TRYING TO SAY!” Spirits lifted. Genuinely

The intercession from St T came through for me: my canonical fate had not been foreclosed, and my Church was developing a more nuanced approach, one of encounter rather than dismissal . . .  And maybe, just maybe — a celibate, pro-life, trying-to-be-devout transsexual women like me … that I … that I could remain in the church I truly love and consider my life’s greatest treasure — being Catholic. Pope Francis offered to walk with me, not against me.

And my tears fell with the weight of mustard seeds.

Darllen Rhagor





On extra-heavy kozo with a special liquidifying water-sumi.