Blessed Are The Binary Breakers: No End to Transphobia Without Uprooting Ableism

In this first episode focusing on the interconnections between trans & disability communities & theologies, Avery draws from Mel Baggs' theory of embedded forms of oppression to describe how ableism is at the heart of many manifestations of transphobia, including pathologization and coerced treatments. 


When transness is perceived as a disability, and disability is perceived as brokenness, the logical result is to try to "fix" or "cure" the trans individual - as evinced in the non-affirming "disability framework" through which some Christians view transness as a symptom of a Fallen world. How can trans persons and disabled persons join together to fight their similar battles, within faith communities and beyond?


Listen to the podcast episode on Spotify, Podbean, Apple Podcast, or the player below.

Talking Points:

(0:00 - 5:13) Introducing the topic: why we must be anti-ableist in order to be anti-transphobic

(5:12 - 6:48) At least 39% of trans people have one or more disabilities

(6:49 - 7:46) Mel Baggs' theory: “There is ableism somewhere at the heart of your oppression, no matter what your oppression may be"

(7:47 - 13:23) Example of sexism embedded in homophobia, and ableism embedded in both - drawing from "clobber verse" 1 Cor 6:9

(13:24 - 17:29) Examples of ableism embedded in transphobia - eugenics, pathologization; Christian psychologist Mark Yarhouse's "disability framework" for understanding transness

(17:30 - 21:39) This embeddedness requires that we confront ableism in order to combat transphobia - how?

(21:40 - end) Wrapping up - 1 Cor 12's interdependent members of one body


For an episode transcript (with citations) and more info about this show, visit blessedarethebinarybreakers.com/podcast.


This show's theme song is "Aetherium" by Leah Horn. "Gold Beamer" and "Can't Find" by MotherHood are also used in this episode.

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