What’s in a Name? Trans Woman Celebrates Transition with Church Ceremony

Written by | The Lens

Heteros think they own God. Like she’s perched up in heaven as the ultimate Karen, looking down at queer people and threatening to call the manager… before realizing that she’s God: the supreme manager.

So, breeders – if God hates us so much, then why did she create us?


And while the straighties are busy scratching their simple heads in doubt, let’s get on with our story.

A transgender woman in Norway goes by the name Elin Stillingen. That’s a key point: her name. Elin is proud of her new moniker, so she wants to sing it from the rafters, and what better rafters than those at the idyllic Hoff Church in Oslo?

“I am a member of the Norwegian church, and am also about to come ‘out of the closet’ as a Christian, so this ceremony is important to me,” explained Stillingen in an interview with local media outlet TV2.

Pastor Stein Ovesen officiated the name-changing ceremony, commenting, “This goes deep into the lives of people. Being allowed to walk through life and know that you have God with you on the road still means a lot.”


During the gathering, Oveson orated, “We honor the name she received from her parents, and acknowledge that the time has come to declare a new name.”

The pastor then turned to the guest of honor and asked, “What is your name?”

“My name is Elin,” she declared to the delight of her friends and family in attendance.

After the ceremony, Stillingen told reporters, “Mostly the circle of friends knew in advance. It was a big surprise at work, but it went very well. People have received me very well, no matter who I am.”

Even 24 hours later, her joy was rapturous.

Dagen derpå. Fremdeles glad.En utrolig fin stund i Hoff Kirke, og det fortsatte på kirkebakken etterpå. Hver dag siden…

Posted by Elin Stillingen on Saturday, July 17, 2021

On Facebook, Elin wrote, “The day after. Still happy… It was like coming home, and Jesus was there.” She even gave a shout-out to the organist at the occasion, noting, “You rocked the church!”

Ending on a note of humility and harmony, Elin concluded, “Thanks to all of you who came out and shared this day with me.”

And thank you, Elin Stillingen, for sharing your bravery with the world. Your name is forever synonymous with grace and truth.

Elin Stillingen was honoured in the first church name changing ceremony in Norway. (Facebook/ Elin Stillingen)

Last modified: July 27, 2021