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In a groundbreaking revelation for the Catholic Church, Brother Christian Matson, a 39-year-old hermit from Kentucky, has come out as transgender. Remarkably, Matson has the full support of his bishop, John Stowe of the Diocese of Lexington. Matson transitioned during college, four years before converting to Catholicism, and felt a strong calling to minister to artists. However, a 2000 Vatican declaration stated that transgender individuals were ineligible for marriage, priesthood, or religious life. Advised by a canon lawyer, Matson pursued the role of a diocesan hermit, a layperson who vows obedience, poverty, and chastity directly to a bishop. This role, largely solitary and focused on prayer, had no gender distinction, however, finding a supportive bishop was challenging for Matson. In 2020, Matson contacted Bishop Stowe, an advocate for LGBTQ+ tolerance, who responded immediately. Matson said. “It was an enormous relief. I was in tears. I felt my hope revive.” Matson moved to Kentucky and took his vows in 2022. Alarmed by increasing anti-trans rhetoric and policies and inspired by a young trans-Catholic’s struggle, Matson decided to come out publicly on Pentecost last month. Despite the potential backlash, Bishop Stowe supported Matson’s decision, acknowledging that some within the church may oppose it.