Brothers, Sisters and Siblings,
I see the posts. I see the words of hate people scrawl through the comments section, through the tweets and Facebooks status updates. I see the pictures of trans celebrities that get attacked and misgendered. I see the people standing outside of buildings with picket signs. I see the petitions and the calls for boycotts.
I left the Sunday matinee of Fun Home and blinked into the sunlight. We had decided to go spontaneously as the last stop of our whirlwind weekend in the city.
Easter service was exactly as one would expect, uneventful even, for most of those gathered that morning. As I joined my congregation early that day, I was greeted with the traditional “Alleluia! Christ is risen!” and the blast of the organ and choir singing, “Christ the Lord is Risen Today.”
On Sunday I took communion for the first time in more than a year. I hadn’t been avoiding it deliberately, but I realized just how long it had been as I approached the line to receive bread and wine (juice). I’ve heard the phrases “The body of Christ broken for you;” “The blood of Christ shed for you” hundreds of times in my life.
But this time it felt different.
In 2011, National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and the National LGBTQ Task Force released the results of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS).
I grew up learning about a God who was a “He.” Sporting a white beard and positively owning that throne in the sky, this was a God who threw lightning bolts when you strayed from the path of righteousness.
When I got to college, I took a necessary break from believing in God.
My feelings about “allies” to the transgender community are complicated. Sometimes this "ally" concept seems really powerful to me, and other times, it just seems like another shallow label.
Sometimes the way we talk about "allies" feels insightful and important. Sometimes our language feels rigid and inadequate.
Back in the middle school years, I used to worry that I didn’t look or act like everyone else. I spent a ton of time in front of the mirror trying to learn to change my face with makeup, and even though my personality didn’t suit it, I spent lots of my parent’s money on the clothes that were trendy at the time. When these attempts to blend in didn’t work, I got pretty upset sometimes.
Rev. Mykal Slack, recently featured on Believe Out Loud, is a trans-identified clergy person who describes himself as a "Bridge Builder, Worship Leader and Diversity Trainer." I sat down with Rev.