Transgender pastor Paula Stone Williams presents her memoir

A journey from male to female while leading a spiritual community is the theme of the new Paula Stone Williams book, “As A Woman: What I learned About Power, Sex, and Patriarchy After I Transitioned.”

Williams transitioned from a male to female ten years ago and her preaching has evolved, she says. Stone continues her journey as a Christian pastor in her church, “Left Hand Church.” 

“I think I preached most of my left brain as a guy, more didactic, more intellectual, more thinking, as opposed to feeling. And I think I preach a lot more now from the soul,” said Williams.

When Williams wrote her memoir, one of the biggest challenges was knowing what to include. She covered topics such as religion, sexuality, society, gender inequity, and the story of her self-discovery. 

“It’s a tight tightrope to walk, to be open and honest and raw, including writing from areas of chapters that aren’t finished yet of your life,” said Williams. “While not shedding your sickness in your writing, while not just vomiting all over your audience with your unresolved issues.”

“I think the hardest part is not being taken seriously by men,” said Williams. 

Before establishing Left Hand Church and before transitioning into a female, Williams was part of a ministry that focused on establishing churches around the United States.

After being excluded from the ministry, Williams had a hard time gathering resources to  reconstruct her presence in Christianity. 

The budget that the organization William was a part of gave from $800,000 to $1.5 million for new churches.  

“We started this church for $50,000, one tiny percentage of what we had before, I was dealing with far fewer resources than before and it didn’t bother me at all. Because I knew that would be the case,” said Williams.

Ever since transitioning, William shares that she has gained a new perspective of being a woman that she was not able to understand before. 

“The biggest aggravation is a simple one, men interrupt women twice as often as they interrupt others and I despise not being taken seriously. And I took it for granted as a man,” said Williams.

Elena Key is a broadcast journalism student at FIU. She currently works at FIU's student newspaper, PantherNOW, as a staff writer. She works for both the News and Entertainment section. Alongside working in news, Elena aspires to be able to work in entertainment news in the future as a reporter and TV personality. She hopes to make an impact in the lives of others through journalism.