Having just turned 50, Paul Schneider is sifting through a pile of notes—slips of papers containing memories of his life. The note writing began when Paul was fourteen, following his brother’s suicide and the day Paul learned a difficult secret. At first, jotting down thoughts was necessary to make room in his head for the secret. Later, the notes became a habit.
Now, wonders Paul, what to do with this jumbled array of notes.
“Write your story.” The directive comes from Paul’s wife. And so, Paul’s life-story project begins.
Paul’s youth was the opposite of the sentiment imparted by Port Serene’s name. A father prone to angry outbursts, a mother retreating to her bedroom with a bottle of vodka, and an older sister following in their mom’s alcoholic footsteps. Only in younger sister Nancy and best friend Shorty Peterson can Paul find solace.
In high school, Paul falls for Patty Koehn, her requited love becoming his beacon of hope. Patty’s parents insist their daughter only date someone in her faith, so Paul eagerly sets out to attend church. Paul's joy is dashed when his father forbids him from going, leaving Paul identifying with Romeo to Patty’s Juliet.
Heartbroken and frustrated, Paul seems headed for the destructive path well worn by his family, but not before two caring adults—neighbor lady Mrs. Lucas and grocery-store owner Ike Mueller—step in to take him under their wing.
Through the care and guidance of Mrs. Lucas and Ike, through the steadfastness of Nancy and Shorty, and through the patience and tenderness of Patty and her parents, Paul is awash in unconditional love, forgiveness, and the Golden Rule. This, Paul learns, is what family is supposed to be.
Yet, too many family mysteries remain. Just when Paul believes he will be left in the dark, he receives the phone call that sets into motion bringing everything into the light.
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Anyone interested in learning about gender dysphoria and what it means to be transgender benefits from these books.
In Roller Coaster, I tell my story in grueling, honest detail. In 2013, my lifetime of gender conflict had me contemplating suicide. It drove me from the parish ministry and led to my transitioning to female. I became a pariah in my church denomination. After fully transitioning, in 2018 I ceased experiencing myself as female and worked to resume living as a male.
Along the way, I learned everything about my condition and got to know other trans Christians who were ill-treated by their pastors and fellow Christians. I put it all into Ministering to Transgender Christians to provide the Christian Church with a practical resource that trans Christians might be understood and treated as the brothers and sisters in Christ whom they are.
Who are reading these books? Mothers and fathers, pastors and professors, family and friends, and lots of transgender Christians are finding information and help for them in their stations in life.
A Roller Coaster through a Hurricane:
Brenda: "Greg’s book is not only informative, it is an inspiring and courageous account of his journey with gender dysphoria. I was immediately drawn in and could feel the realness of Greg’s struggles. The book is written with candor, insight, love, and dedication to his Christian beliefs. As a parent, I found hope for and deeper understanding of my own child’s journey."
Medicjac: "This book has been a lifesaver! As a Christian with a son who is transgender, this book has been invaluable in giving me insight and hope. I strongly recommend this book for anyone who is struggling."
An appreciative parent: "I appreciated several things about the book. First, in an effort to get his readers to understand his situation, he held nothing back, giving us his whole story, warts and all. Second, the book is well written. This winsome book should be read by anyone who has a relationship with someone with gender dysphoria or wants to understand better what these people are going through."
Chana: "Eloquent and thought-provoking, the author of this book does an incredible job weaving us through the tapestry of his journey with gender dysphoria. A Rollercoaster Through A Hurricane is written as beautifully as any novel I’ve ever read."
Ministering to Transgender Christians:
Colleen: "I just finished my second reading of this book. It is theologically rich! There is no other book today that offers the understanding and compassion that Church leaders need, to minister to the needs of the transgender Christians in their congregations."
Lutheran pastor: "This is a remarkably helpful book for pastors and laypeople alike because it discusses the struggle of transgender persons in a way that educates while consistently pointing to God's grace in Jesus Christ. Every angle is examined: theological, physiological, psychological, and how to be merciful and compassionate when it seems impossible to be empathetic. The discussion of myths, or what transgender is not, is a particularly helpful part of the book that seeks to break down stereotypes and foregone conclusions."
Amazon customer: " When we look to people to show us God, we're often disappointed. When we look to God to show us people, WOW. Thank you, Greg, for looking to God to show us people. This book is the most loving, calm explanation of the gender identity conversation that our children know and embrace as second nature. Greg explains the terminology, explores the science, and most of all speaks humbly and openly from his own experience."
Read all reviews after clicking on either book: https://tinyurl.com/gregeilersbooks
Since 2015, I've been blogging at Eilers Pizza, where you will find more than 300 posts.
I began the blog to educate regarding gender dysphoria and being transgender. It opened the doors through which I longed to enter, to talk with anyone who might listen.
Having been a minister, I especially wanted to engage with Lutheran pastors and fellow Christians. My being transgender upset a lot of carts as it also opened important doors.
Along the way, many gender dysphoric and trans individuals connected with me. I've formed friendships. I've been a source of counsel and commiserating. I've been blessed in every encounter with my fellow humans.
- gender dysphoria
- every aspect of transitioning
- a detailed account of my transition
- the intersection of transgender and Christian
- writings on the faith
- devotional pieces (Easter, Christmas, etc.)
- the trans bathroom debate is just one of many topics I've tackled as they've arisen
Meet people in my life
- profiles of wonderful folks
Memoirs and more
- from places I've lived, to jokes and puns I've written, Eilers Pizza is a supreme pie of a blog
I love you, but...
When God says NO:
Another Port Hope tragedy:
Neither proud nor ashamed:
Ernest Hemingway's son:
Did God create transgender? (in three parts):
1965, age 8. In our Hart backyard on my First Communion day, with my Godparents: Uncle Ky and Aunt Ginger.