Brent was raised in a conservative Christian family in central Illinois. He attended Northland Baptist Bible College in Dunbar, Wisconsin and then later, Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee. Brent identified as lesbian throughout most of his life and for years struggled with the religious ramifications that came with being gay in a faith tradition that considers homosexuality a sin. After several failed attempts to “go straight,” he did some deep soul-searching and realized that sexuality need not conflict with faith. In 1998 he began writing essays explaining why being gay and Christian are not mutually exclusive. Eventually he acknowledged that he had always identified as male, even if not always on a conscious level, and in 2005 underwent his transition from female to male. Since that time he has helped others find confidence in their own decision to transition. This includes travel to several African countries where he had the opportunity to share his story. Currently, he preaches about transgender issues at churches nationwide, serves as a guest speaker and a panelist in transgender awareness forums, and offers advice and support to people around the world. Brent serves as a clergy intern at LifeJourney Church in Indianapolis, teaching discipleship classes, leading an oasis group, and writing for Be Still and Know… the online devotional ministry of the church, He also appears as a contributing author in Quench!: Refreshing Devotionals by Gay, Trans, and Affirming Christians. Brent received his Master of Divinity degree at Earlham School of Religion in Richmond, Indiana.
Julie grew up in St. Louis, and from an early age attended a Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) with her mother and mother’s partner. While obtaining a degree in all-area Music Education from Butler University, she began a ten-year tenure as the Minister of Worship at LifeJourney Church. During that time, Julie served as a worship leader, educator, and consultant for MCCs nationwide. Julie remains active at the church as a musician and a writer for Be Still and Know… the online devotional ministry of the church, and appears as a contributing author in Quench!: Refreshing Devotionals by Gay, Trans, and Affirming Christians. She has taught music in public and private schools as well as within a juvenile correctional facility. Julie has traveled to several African countries to consult with churches and organizations about trans* awareness and advocacy work. She is currently developing GenderNexus, a center for the transgender community in Indianapolis. In the meantime, Julie serves as a guest speaker and panelist about trans* issues at universities, churches, community events, and trans* conferences. She received her Master of Social Work degree with a dual concentration in leadership and mental health/addictions from Indiana University. Julie is an active member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Indiana LGBT committee, a founding member of the Indiana Transgender Wellness Alliance (ITWA), MCC’s trans* and gender non-conforming advisory council, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), the Society for the Psychological Study of LGBT Issues and Women’s Issues (APA Divisions 44 and 35), Indiana University School of Social Work Alumni Association board, Soulforce, Phi Alpha Honor Society, and Sigma Alpha Iota.