Metro Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.

Bio: For 20 years, I've devoted myself to learning about science and the natural world and how such insights can be used to help humanity. I've spent most of my life in northern Georgia, but lived in Montana from 2000 to 2003 and served a total of nine months during this time as a fisheries observer in Alaska. In 2004, I returned to GA to enroll in graduate school at Georgia Tech. In 2009, soon after transitioning from male to female, I met my partner Monica. In 2012 I earned a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics. In 2014, I began a career in public health by serving as a computational biologist at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) here in Atlanta. While science is my secular occupation, I also devote much time and thought to the spiritual world. I have grown frustrated with established, monotheistic religions as well as with agnostic secularism. Despite my lifelong belief in The Christ, I have felt excluded from full participation in Christian communities throughout my adult life. Since my mid-twenties, I began to feel a personal awakening to an unnamed Divine Feminine. Through my wanderings in the western U.S. and my struggles in grad school in Atlanta, I could not help but feel sustained this Goddess-presence. Even when I claimed to not believe in any Gods, I inwardly suspected that the Goddess was more true than any of the hardships around me. After I became aware of my transgender identity, I began experiencing a revelation that the ancient Greco-Roman Goddess, Cybele, is my Divine Matron. In ancient Rome until the 400s C.E., Cybele was served by a priesthood of transgender-like individuals. Yet, when Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, Her priestesses were murdered. To this day, in most western "Christianized" societies, transgender and gender-nonconforming persons too often pay for their spiritual calling with their lives.

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