How fitting it is that God's best gift to me in my ministerial life as a Catholic sister is now, at the end. I am 71 years old and have had the privilege and joy of being present among the transgender community since 1999.
Jeffrey Tambor made a great point this last Sunday -- representation matters. That's also why the ACA matters, and will continue to matter, for trans young adults looking for an affordable path to a healthier life.
Few issues have been more divisive within the church of the 20th and 21st century than the "full acceptance of LGBT Christians in the Church."
For parents of kids who are transgender, gender education alone isn't going to provide that reassurance. What I think would really help are more everyday success stories -- people who can show trans kids, their parents and society as a whole that being transgender doesn't have to forever define you (unless you want it to).
The same mindset that marks trans people as unfit to share and depict their own stories comes from the same place as the invalidation that causes us to experience discrimination and self-loathing on so many other levels. Seeing your true self in media is important and can save lives.
The right is pushing hard on talking points claiming that transgender teens need to be pushed into (religious) "therapy" that no reputable, licensed mental-health professional would provide. Their rationales are riddled with half-truths, logical fallacies, and outright lies. Here are the facts.
This needs to end now. Those of us with the resources to fight in any way need to continue to stand up to those who are actively working to see more trans people dead, and we need to be absolutely present with those trans people who, at any given moment, may have fewer emotional or material resources than we do.
I'm not saying my religious beliefs are the way for everyone to live or believe. But neither are yours. In fact, they are not truly universal religious beliefs but your personal beliefs. And that's OK. But you don't get to impose those on everyone else to prevent them from living, working, and loving with the same freedom that you are afforded by virtue of who you are.
As I ring in a new year I commit to continuing to listen, to act, to learn, and to speak. I implore you to join me. Stand up, stand with, walk alongside, and speak up. It is not going to be easy, but together we can change the world.
The tribalism of organizing the world into categories comes from a very basic place to identify those around us. There are those that are men, those that are women and there are those that are not. Having the wisdom to know when it matters is what will make the world a better place.
There has been a massive and much-needed wave of news regarding anything having to do with that often neglected sub-group within the LGBT acronym. Transgender awareness is finally stepping forward in this country.
It was beyond moving to stand among that crowd, where love and acceptance was so immense and intense. Just as Leelah's note asked that her death really mean something, I say to her now that your death does mean something.
Doing something that is totally inconsistent with previous behavior and runs counter to personal philosophical and spiritual beliefs can nonetheless free one to live in a more positive and healthful manner. It's not a cure-all, but it gave me the tools to overcome stigma, live authentically in service to others, and not see myself as a victim.
For several years now, I've tried to temper satirical criticism of the occasional excess in Russia's political culture with the concern that I'm reducing a complex system of government to the latest installment of News of the Weird.
The fact that an organization with a roster of 200 people can find a way to concretely analyze their privilege sets a standard. I want to believe in a world where we do not shy away from conversations about racial justice.
Go 2015 Golden Globe Awards! The show gave us the comedy magic of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. But more importantly, it was a night of big wins for characters and stories that personify the power of standing out exactly as who you are.