Your congregation may have made the decision to welcome people of all sexual orientations before there was a significant awareness about including gender identity. You may have already talked about and worked on including gay, lesbian and bisexual people, but not transgender people. Now is a great time to revisit those conversations and expand your welcome, especially as Transgender people, including youth, are being increasingly attacked by some politicians, religious leaders, and others in the United States and elsewhere. Or you may just be setting out on your journey and want to include transgender people right from the start. We support that decision wherever you are.
Transgender people have much to offer your congregation and need a safe place to worship and belong, just like everyone else.
Transgender people identify as a gender different than the one they were identified with at birth. This means that they may be genderqueer or gender non-binary, meaning that they don’t identify with one particular gender, or they may identify as male or female. Transgender people can be any sexual orientation—bisexual, lesbian, gay or straight.
According to the US Trans Survey, almost 1/5 of transgender people who had been part of a spiritual or religious community were rejected by that community because of their gender identity. This can be devastating. However, 42% of those people later found a new congregation to join. You can be part of this movement to provide a welcoming and safe space.
If your congregation wants to increase your welcome of transgender people, CLGS has a number of resources to help you along this path:
- A CLGS curriculum to help your congregation study the issue and learn more; en español: Guía para la bienvenida de personas transgénero en congregaciones
- From Fe, Familia, Igualdad, the CLGS Latinx Roundtable, here are some valuable resources in English, Spanish, and Portuguese:
- Welcoming Your Trans Family Member: Growing As Latinx Families and Communities and Acogiendo Su Familiar Trans: Creciendo Como Familias y Comunidades Latinxs and Acolhendo o/a/x Familiar Trans: Crescendo Como Famílias E Comunidade Latinxs
- For You Are Wondrously Made and Porque Eres Una Creación Maravillosa and Porque Você É Uma Criaçãomaravilhosa
- For youth and children: Transitioning to Inclusion: A Guide to Welcoming Transgender Children and Their Families in Your Community of Faith