If you have not heard of Nancy Ledins, who passed away in July at age 84, her story is very much worth reading if you are concerned with Catholic LGBT issues.
Growing up in an evangelical Christian home, my family was invested in maintaining certain Judeo-Christian holiday traditions. Easter Sunday was no exception; it was a day rooted in chocolate pastels, family dinner, and most notably for me: new accessories.
Trigger warning: discussion of suicide
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s comments about her understanding of what “transness” is set off a firestorm last month. In an interview, she said trans women live in the world with “privileges that the world accords to men” prior to transition.
I am not oppressed, I am not a victim—I thrive, I rise, I am.
A few months ago, I participated at an organization's Board of Directors meeting. It was an intense gathering where we were all challenged to stretch beyond our comfort zones and look at how each of us participates in anti-oppression work and in oppression (intentionally and unintentionally)—sometimes at the same time.
During the holidays, I noticed a Franciscan Health commercial with the hashtag #FranciscanPeacePrayer. This beautiful prayer, attributed to St. Francis in the 13th century, was repeated during the commercial.
The visuals in the ad showed smiling people helping each other and showing love.
When Trump rescinded the guidelines to schools on how to protect the dignity of Trans* students, he opened the door for SCOTUS to deny Gavin Grimm his day in court. When SCOTUS declined to hear Gavin’s case, the nation's highest court delayed the protections that Trans* students are due under the mandate of Title IX.
You would think that we, those of us belonging to the LGBTQ community of faith would be mourning you and conspiring towards how we can work to protect you and cherish you in our communities. However, the silence around your death, Chyna Gibson, is deafening.
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.
In December, we saw some significant good news out of Massachusetts: the anti-LGBT organization Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) voluntarily withdrew a lawsuit they filed in October that would have created an unprecedented, extraordinary exemption to Massachusetts' statewide nondiscrimination law that was updated this past year to include protections for transgender people in public places.
Affirming pastors can have an immeasurably positive impact in the lives of their LGBTQIA congregants.