Erin Swenson's Biography
Rev. Erin Swenson, transgender advocate

A licensed psychotherapist of 20 years, Erin Swenson has specialized in the area of transgender experience working with hundreds of individuals, couples, and families.

As a Presbyterian minister, she has served as pastor, counselor, chaplain, educator, and administrator within a variety of faith communities, including Adjunct Professor of Pastoral Care at Emory University’s Candler School
of Theology.

As a transgender woman she confronted the Presbyterian Church with her own transgender reality. Ultimately, she became the first-known mainstream Protestant minister to make a gender transition and retain ordained office, an event that was covered by USA Today and Newsweek. See press page for news items.

Erin Swenson serves GAMFT, HRC, More Light Presbyterians

As a board member of the Georgia Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, Erin earned the Outstanding Service to the State Award for her work with the Georgia State Legislature. The Presbyterian Synod of Southern California and Hawaii presented her the prestigious Lazarus Award in 2005 for her outstanding advocacy for transgender people across the country.

When co-moderator of the Board of Directors of More Light Presbyterians, a national advocacy group working within the Presbyterian Church, Erin became instrumental in bringing transgender experience into the More Light organization. Erin currently serves on the Religion Council for the Human Rights Campaign in Washington, D.C.

Erin Swenson transgender workplace consultant

In 2005, Erin began her employment with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, where, currently as Lead Clinical Care Manager, she supervises a staff of licensed mental health practitioners. Having brought her gender experience into the Blue Cross Blue Shield culture, she is proud that her department and her company have developed exceptional competence with transgender experience and that Blue Cross recently became one of the pioneering companies to offer transgender appropriate medical care as a part of its health insurance package.

In 2012, Erin attended DiversityInc's conference during which the organization recognized Anthem BCBS with an award for being one of the top 10 inclusive organizations in the nation.

Erin Swenson biking in triathlon

Erin has shared her gender experiences with passion and humor by speaking both nationally and internationally in venues such as Smith College, University of Florida, and San Francisco Theological Seminary. In 2008 she was honored as keynote speaker at the General Conference of the Metropolitan Community Church in Birmingham, England. She has assisted the gender transitions of many individuals within their workplaces, educating administrators, supervisors, and coworkers at Georgia companies such as Norfolk Southern and Coca-Cola.

Passionate about her family, Erin maintains healthy loving relationships with her sisters, ex-spouse, and her two adult daughters. Her leisure activities have been as diverse as her career experience. Before her gender transition, she and her best friend built a small sailboat in which they sailed in the Atlantic. She is an accomplished musician and licensed pilot.

Since turning age 60, she has completed 33 triathlons, including two Half-Ironman events.



© Copyright 2014, Erin K. Swenson



"recommend her without any reservations." READ MORE

– Dr. William R. Stayton
MDiv, ThD, PhD, Professor Emeritus & Former Director,
Center for Human Sexuality Studies, Widener University & Retired Professor, Satcher Health Leadership Institute, Morehouse School of Medicine

"witnessed Erin Swenson's grace, humor, and practical wisdom" READ MORE

– Rev. Chris Glaser
Author and blogger; editor of Gender Identity and Our Faith Communities

"gentle, resourceful and
skillful practitioner"

– Bishop John Selders, Jr.
CLS, D.D., Pastor of Amistad UCC


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