A professor at a Christian college in California has been forced out of his position after coming out as transgender.
H. Adam Ackley had taught theology at Azusa Pacific University for 15 years.
However, since coming out as male in the last year, he had been asked to leave by the university – despite being midway through a five year contract.
Speaking on the issue, Ackley said: ‘I did not get a sense directly from the individuals with whom I was speaking that they had a theological problem with transgender identity.
‘I did get the message that it has to do with their concern that other people, such as donors, parents and churches connected to the university will have problems not understanding transgender identity.’
The university had previously refused to cover any medical expenses on the transition, including chest surgery and hormones.
Since leaving APU, Ackley says he has received offers from other universities and institutions to teach or consult.
A spokesperson for APU has declined to comment on the issue. However, Ackley will be meeting with lawyers to decide the best course of action.
Ackley’s sudden departure has shocked his students.
Joseph Reyes, a student at APU, said: ‘He instilled a new-found faith in my life and I was devastated to learn about his dismissal.’
A deeply religious Christian, Ackley had struggled with his gender identity his whole life.
Speaking on his difficulties, he said: ‘I tried to conform to Christian womanhood as best I could.
‘[I was] told by my spiritual advisors and then spouse that recovery, sanity and preservation of my family required me to deny my now recognized transgendered identity. I once again struggled with self-medicating, self-injuring and self-starving of the female body during a suicidal relapse.
‘This is what Christian transphobia does.’