The CLGS in Religion and Ministry Continues Outreach to Growing Movement of Transgender People of Faith
April 16, 2008
The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry Continues Outreach to Growing Movement of Transgender People of Faith
Portland, Oregon . The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry (CLGS) offered the OutFront/TransForming Faith conference on April 4-6, 2008. Co-sponsored by the Community of Welcoming Congregations and supported by the Religion and Faith Program of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the three-day conference was designed to educate, inspire, nurture and celebrate the gifts of transgender persons in communities of faith. The conference was held at the First Unitarian Church of Portland.
OutFront Portland brought together religious leaders, political activists, scholars, and artists in a celebration of transgender people of faith, their families and their allies. The conference provided a broad selection of resources for congregational leaders, individuals, clergy and young adults interested in building up communities of faith that truly welcome and include transgender people at all levels of congregational life. The conference also offered a film festival, displays from the Shower of Stoles Project, and a photo exhibit (produced by Family Diversity Projects of Massachusetts) on transgender people, their partners, and their children.
Dr. Virginia Ramey Mollenkott, author of Omnigender: A Trans-Religious Approach, offered a plenary address on "Seven Major Reasons Why Religious Congregations Should Embrace Their Transgender Members."
Faisal Alam, founder of the Muslim lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) organization Al Fatiha, spoke on the current climate for transgender people in Muslim communities around the world.
Jenn Burleton, executive director of TransActive Education & Advocacy discussed the reality of transgender activism and advocacy as it relates to transgender and gender non-conforming children.
Worship leaders included Rev. Dr. Frodo Okulam, coordinator of SisterSpirit, Faisal Alam, Rabbi David Kominsky, and Rev. Toni Tortorilla, a Roman Catholic priest and member of the Womenpriest movement.
Workshop Titles Included:
" How to Be an Ally to Sexual and Gender Minority Youth " Preserving Relationships During Transition " Divided We Fall: Understanding How Multiple Oppressions Impact Our Lives and Work " Transitioning with a Congregation: Is it Possible? " Advocating for Yourself: At Church, the Workplace, School, and with Friends and Family " Hidden Voices: The Lives of LGBT Muslims " Gender Non-Conforming Children: A Proactive Approach " Unearthing Transgressive Taboos and Transformative Texts in Scripture
The conference was a part of the CLGS series of OutFront conferences, held at locations around the United States. CLGS OutFront workshops are designed to help progressive people of faith and their allies become voices of authority and agents of societal change in the current heated debates surrounding sexuality and religion. A primary goal of these workshops is to enable LGBT people of faith and their allies to counter those who use religious arguments to alienate and marginalize LGBT people within communities of faith and within society at large.