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.
As we honor and celebrate Trans Awareness Week, we pause today to honor the journeys of transgender and gender nonconforming people of faith by sharing the 10 journey stories below. These blogs are all written by transgender, genderqueer, non-binary, Two Spirit, and gender nonconforming people of faith, a majority of whom identify as Christian.
This week marks Trans Awareness Week, which culminates with Trans Day of Remembrance. TDOR (Trans Day of Remembrance) is that moment that many of us dread, because it is the ritual where we mindfully mark the passing of our Trans siblings, many of whom are Trans Women of Color who are victims of relentless violence and the hatred of difference.
Transphobia has entered the center stage of our national political conversation.
In the days of my youth, I knew little of the meanings of terms such as the "religious right" and the "liberal left." I was taught to believe in a loving God, and I have begun to understand that this is the greatest fortune of my birth.
As a young seminarian in the late 1970’s, I enjoyed being a graduate student on the campus of a major university in the Midwest. The big library and vast intellectual community were a thrill, but the greatest joy was attending Sunday services at the university’s chapel, an elaborate modernist/Gothic building on the edge of campus.
I realized how much I hated myself the day I admitted to myself that I’m trans. I’d never noticed before then the nauseated feeling in my stomach each time I looked in a mirror, or how I never could take compliment without some type of rebuttal, or how much I clamored for attention while looking for the exit at the same time.
Recently one of my pastors wanted to do a series about bodies and how we live in them as Christians. As part of this she put out a call on Facebook: did we know any books by Queer theologians, particularly from voices in traditionally marginalized communities (trans, POC, female, and others)?
In college I started a blog. The website was orange text on different-orange background that hurt the eyes to read. The top was emblazoned the title “HYPOCRITE,” and below the title was a quote from the book of Matthew. It was the scene of Judas betraying Jesus, but I'd cut the context and just left the kiss.
As a parent of two young children, I make many trips to the public library and I read many children’s books. I can be a bit of a children’s book snob, picking what appears to be a high-brow picture book based on the inclusion of a Caldecott or Newbury award sticker, or by literally judging a book by its cover and choosing the ones with the best illustrations.