Sing a new song unto the Lord: the transgender, nonbinary Rev. Kori Pacyniak

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02/16/2020

The conversation began in typical fashion, with a question many grandparents ask: “When you grow up,” Kori Pacyniak’s grandmother wondered, “what would you like to be?” At that point, the chat took an atypical turn. “I want to be a priest,” said Kori, then an 8-year-old girl from a devout Polish Catholic family. Grandmother: “Only boys can be priests.” Kori: “OK, I want to grow up to be a boy.” Now 37, Kori Pacyniak no longer wants to be male — or female. Pacyniak now identifies as nonbinary, someone who is not strictly feminine or masculine. (And someone who has abandoned gender-specific pronouns like “he” or “she” in favor of the more inclusive, if sometimes confusing, “they.”) While Pacyniak left behind standard gender roles, the youthful fascination with the priesthood never faded. On Feb. 1, Pacyniak was ordained a priest in the Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement.

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