Transgender Latina makes history as Evangelical Lutheran pastor

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12/12/2019

Before coming out as transgender, Nicole Garcia prayed daily that God would “fix” her. When her prayers weren’t answered and the feeling in her gut didn’t go away, she gave up on religion. Now, nearly four decades later, Garcia stands behind the pulpit at Westview Lutheran Church in Boulder, Colorado, and delivers weekly sermons to a congregation of more than 100 faithful as their ordained pastor. “Nobody can question my faith, my devotion to Christ, my devotion to the church. That’s why I’m the pastor here,” Garcia,who turned 60 Thursday, told NBC News. “Being trans is secondary.” Garcia, who delivered her first sermon at Westview earlier this month, is the first known transgender Latina to serve as a pastor within the 4 million-strong Evangelical Lutheran Church in America — an unanticipated position for someone who grew up in the Roman Catholic Church and left religion entirely for nearly 20 years.

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