Luisa Derouen was a member of her founding congregation, the Eucharistic Missionaries of St. Dominic, for 48 years. In 2009, they and seven other congregations became the Dominican Sisters of Peace. With a graduate degree in liturgy and credentials in spiritual direction, until the 1980s she ministered primarily in rural parishes in religious education and pastoral ministry. She began to minister among the transgender community in 1999 and has been a spiritual companion formally and informally to about 250 transgender people across the country. She is now semiretired at the St. Catharine Motherhouse in central Kentucky.
Transgender people take life-changing risks to honor their body-soul personhood. When they are not treated with respect when seeking medical care, their whole person is wounded and traumatized.
Transgender people are who they say they are. I have witnessed their incredible courage and faith in the pursuit of living an authentic life. It is what we call transformation in God, conversion of life.
Reactions to the publication of "Male and Female He Created Them" include gratitude and affirmation for the positive subtitle of the Congregation for Catholic Education's document, "Towards a Path of Dialogue on the Question of Gender Theory in Education" — as well as disappointment and concern that the foundational positions of the document about gender theory are woefully uninformed by contemporary science and by the lived experience of transgender people.
No ministry has so profoundly shaped my life in God as being a faith companion to God's transgender people. I am compelled to give witness to how I have seen them for almost two decades.