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 see you. I see that you are beautiful.
I see that you are strong, that you move through each day facing a world of fears and struggles that most people will never know. I see that you are exactly who you are supposed to be.
More importantly, God sees you. Our scripture says: “People look at outward appearances, but God looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7). God sees your heart and sees you for who you truly are, regardless of weather people accept it or not.
I feel it too. I feel that sting of hurt from the words of hatred. I feel the frustration by the way people just can’t understand or totally misrepresent us. I feel that newly added extra fear that comes when you walk into a bathroom—will today be the day? Are people more vigilant now?
More importantly, God feels it too. I imagine Jesus wondered “will today be the day?” “Have I challenged the status quo too much?”
God grieves for each hurt we suffer, each wound we have to heal.
I can’t change any of those things, but I can tell you that you are loved. I can tell you that I believe that we as transgender, genderqueer and gender non-conforming people reflect something profoundly wonderful about the Image of God, Imago Dei, who is beyond male or female.
I can tell you that there are faith communities that will welcome you, and let you use whatever bathroom you please. In fact there are even those with all-gender bathrooms.
I can tell you that this is true not just in my congregation, or even just in Christian churches. There are synagogues, ashrams, Unitarian congregations, mosques, and a whole variety of spiritual communities that will welcome you and celebrate you.
We will hold you in prayer.
We will celebrate moments along your journey with you. We will break bread with you. And frankly, we will show you are truly welcome by asking you to serve on some random committee or teach Sunday school—you know we love you when we put you to work!
One of my deepest beliefs is that we, as a people, are moving toward justice. I echo the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., who said “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
Deep in my heart I believe that it will get better. I believe that we will some day be able to not just “pee in peace,” but to find gainful employment, to find adequate and affordable healthcare, to find support from our neighbor, to have the pure joy of being just “boring.”
Friends, I hear you. I see you. I know it’s hard.
And yet I ask you to hear me tell you—the world needs your light.
I need your light. You are beloved. Keep fighting the good fight with me.
With Gratitude for Each of You,
Are you a transgender, genderqueer, or gender nonconforming person in crisis? In the U.S., call 877-565-8860 to reach the Trans Lifeline. In Canada, call 877-330-6366. You can also visit The Trevor Project or call the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386.
Photo via flickr user शशांक म्हसवडे
Originally published by Believe Out Loud on May 19, 2016