Friday, August 2, 2013

Integrity Announces Executive Director: Vivian Taylor

Integrity USA is pleased to announce its new Executive Director, Sarah Vivian Gathright Taylor. Taylor will be the first openly transgender woman to lead a major mainline protestant denominational organization in the US.

 “I am thrilled to have this opportunity to serve both Integrity USA and the wider Church. Working together in the love of Jesus Christ, there is nothing that can prevent us from opening the full Love of God to all people regardless of their orientation or identity,” she said.

Vivan Taylor
Currently residing in Somerville, Massachusetts, Taylor is a North Carolina native who enlisted in the United States Army at age 18. She served as a Chaplain's Assistant in the U.S. Army National Guard from 2003 to 2010. After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Religious Studies, she deployed with her unit, the 1/130th Aviation, to southern Iraq from 2009-2010. 

Taylor has also worked as a freelance writer since 2009, and her work has been featured in newspapers and other publications across the country including the Huffington Post, Charlotte Observer, Chapel Hill News,  and others. She writes about being a solider at war, veteran life, LGBTQ issues, trans and genderqueer life, body positivity, Christianity, and her adventures in the world.

Taylor has worked since 2004 to promote a greater understanding of gay, lesbian, bi, transgender, and queer people in the Episcopal Church, and has worked with both Integrity USA and TransEpiscopal to advance diversity and acceptance in the Church. She testified before the Episcopal General Convention in 2012 in favor of adding gender identity and expression to the Church's nondiscrimination clause and was a member of our communications team, helping to produce the daily news briefings we provided.

In September of 2012, Taylor was invited to the White House to meet with Vice President Joseph Biden and a number of other national leaders. She used the opportunity to advocate for full inclusion in the U.S. military of all transgender people willing to serve.

Taylor is also among the first trans women to enter the Episcopal ordination process. She is an avid Sung Compline promoter and participant, and is currently working to develop a new intentional community in the Allston neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts.

Integrity's President, the Rev. Dr. Caroline Hall commented, “We are delighted to have Vivian taking up the helm of Integrity. Her appointment is in line with two of our strategic goals: to bring more young people into leadership, and to increase our diversity. She was an integral part of the Communications Team at the last General Convention and has the leadership skills and ability to think strategically which are vital as we move into a new organization in a very different, more inclusive church. The future is looking very bright.”

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