Monday, January 5, 2009

TransFaith Online: Let the T not be silent


One of the challenges that transgender people face as we seek out spiritual
community is that all too often "LGBT" really only means lesbian and gay.
Congregations that call themselves inclusive are too often uneducated and
ill-equipped to welcome a transgender person who walks through their door.

Each year, the fourth Sunday in January is designated as "International
Welcoming Church Sunday." This is a time when congregations in many
different denominations all celebrate our commitment to diversity - and in
particular to affirming God's love for persons of all sexual orientations
and gender identities.

Observed at the beginning of a new year, Welcoming Church Sunday is an
opportune time to reinvigorate our welcome with education about and
exploration of the transgender experience.

* TransFaith offers a "Where do we begin?" page that notes several
books, curricula, and videos that might be useful in an adult education
setting. Be sure to check out the new "Gender Identity and Faith
Communities" curriculum that has just been released.

* Inquire with local LGBT centers and transgender support groups to see
if there are speakers who might help you offer a panel presentation on
transgender concerns during an adult education time.

* Consider taking up a special offering to support to support the
development of the TransFaith speakers bureau -- or a local transgender
support group or service organization.

* Review our InterSection on Finding a Spiritual Home to think about
some of the issues involved in fully extending your welcome.

Most importantly, make a plan for how your congregation can begin to deepen
its resolve to welcome and understand, to advocate and affirm people of all
gender identities and expressions.

Whether your congregation has been integrating gender identity and
expression for years, or whether you are just beginning, I would love to
hear from you about your successes and challenges. Please be in touch!

TransFaith Online


TRANSFAITH ON-LINE ( is dedicated to
supporting transgender folks in our faith journeys, while providing useful
resources to help people of faith become better educated trans-allies.

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