Monday, August 31, 2009

Congregation Supports Transgender Pastor

Born in Cleveland as a girl, [David] Weekley always knew he was different.

“I always saw myself as a little boy,” he recalls. “My best friend was Gary. I liked sports. At a very young age, it didn’t seem like it was any problem.”

Going to school was more troublesome, he says.

“The teachers didn’t like me — each year that got worse,” he says.

From being blamed by teachers for things she didn’t do, to being slapped across the face by her fourth-grade teacher, Weekley says he didn’t feel he received any adult support until 10th grade, after being referred to a school psychologist.

“I really wanted to drop out of school,” he says. “It was a horrible time. I didn’t fit in, I didn’t look like a girl, I was different.”

Just months after telling his own children that he was not their biological father, Weekley, who is in his late-50s, came out to his congregation of 221 members.

Standing behind his pulpit, Weekley began his usual worship service. About halfway through, he paused to share a personal message he called “My Book Report.”

He told them that in 1984, just nine years after undergoing extensive sex-reassignment surgeries, he was ordained by the Methodist Church without telling anyone of his original gender at birth.

Following his story, the congregation, who had remained silent throughout his talk, broke into thunderous applause. Church members then proclaimed their support for their pastor.

“It doesn’t change him; he’s still Reverend David, and that’s what counts,” says congregation member Robbie Tsuboi.

Read the full article at the Regal Courier here!
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