Malcolm Himschoot was born in 1977 in Denver, Colorado, and raised in Idaho Springs, Colorado in a conservative Christian milieu. Malcolm’s father was a builder and mother worked as a nurse. There was an older and a younger brother.
Malcolm was academically gifted and had interest and proficiency in languages—learning Spanish and some other languages in public high school. He graduated valedictorian. Malcolm also participated in a number of different Christian groups and activities during his early development. The family attended several different “Bible-based” churches during this time. Malcolm had no concept of “evangelical” or “lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender” until near the end of his high school time.
During high school Malcolm developed into more of a hermit with academic and artistic interests which led him to enroll in Amherst College in Massachusetts. The combination of his academic gifts, being a Coloradoan and also a first-generation college student resulted in Malcolm getting a major scholarship to study there.
During the Amherst years, Malcolm’s experience with and understanding of faith, intellect and sexual identities greatly expanded. There he met a trans person for the first time and came to realize that that identity also fit him. During this time Malcolm also became affiliated with the United Church of Christ.
The three years after college was time of intense learning and transition. Malcolm spent time traveling and living in Russia, Texas, and Guatemala studying languages, cultivating relationships, doing volunteer work and in self-examination. Through this time Malcolm stayed in communication with his UCC pastor in Massachusetts, the Rev. Jan Powers, who provided a steadying influence and eventually led him to apply to seminary.
Malcolm started seminary at Iliff School of Theology back in Denver in 1999. Initially he was drawn to academic study of religion and ethics. He studied and worked with Dr. Dana Wilbanks and Gail Erisman-Valeta in the Justice and Peace Studies program at Iliff. But as Malcolm made the transition from female to male gender expression, he also began shifting toward greater interest in pastoral ministry and found his seminary work in Clinical Pastoral Education and field education fulfilling.
In 2001 Malcolm participated in a consultation for trans persons in the UCC convened by the Rev. William Johnson in the UCC’s LGBT Concerns Office in Cleveland. This was a life-changing experience in which Malcolm got to meet, hear and make connections with a number of trans clergy and leaders in the UCC, including Miss Major Griffin-Gracy. Shortly thereafter Malcolm was invited by a filmmaker to be the subject of a documentary about the journey of a trans person in the UCC. Malcolm resisted this offer for a couple years. Finally understanding the importance of this film as an opportunity to break down isolation between trans persons, a vehicle to open conversation in UCC congregations about trans persons and issues, and an artistic expression of spirituality to a non-religious audience, Malcolm agreed to participate in the project. Call Me Malcolm was released in 2005, co-produced by the wider United Church of Christ and Filmworks, Inc. In conjunction with that film, he has since spoken at churches, conferences, colleges, and universities around the country.
Malcolm began working as an associate pastor at Denver Inner City Parish with Pastor Steve Johnsen in 2002 and was ordained as clergy in the United Church of Christ in 2004. He later served as Associate Minister for Outreach at Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota for a period of time. In addition, he served as interim Open and Affirming Coordinator for the United Church of Christ Coalition for LGBT Concerns, during an important period of transition for the program.
Malcolm and his partner Mariah welcomed twins into their family in January 2008. While Malcolm has now shifted much of his time towards fathering his children, he continues to do some pastoral interims, teaching and writing, and occasional presentations on transgender concerns.
(This biographical statement written by Mark Bowman with information provided by Malcolm Himschoot.)