Trans people and identities have been in the media a lot recently.
Just 13 hours ago the Canadian Post shared an article about a woman complaining after being ‘forced’ to sleep in the same shelter room as another woman who happens to be trans. Yesterday, a trans rugby player told us, through CNN, that they have had blood spat into their mouth, as just one example of the abuse they are given. An ex-Labour Councillor in my recent uni town, Cambridge, quit after being told she could not ban trans people from using the female public loos there. The news that the UK Government are reassessing the massively unjust Gender Recognition process lead to widespread backlash, including an anti-trans group leading London Pride. Finally, Pink News reported the increasingly transphobic views of the so-called ‘Christian Institute’.
Why am I sharing all of this bad news? Because it answers the question of why trans advocates, theologians, ministers and educators must keep going. On that theme, a more positive story.
Over the Summer, I spent some time in ministry in Keld. I spoke about being trans in my service talk, and one of the five people there was trans. The Spirit moves in amazing ways, does it not? That person and their friend came back to see me on the Wednesday of my week there, and we spent hours talking. They told me that they had never expected to see another trans person in Keld, let alone in the Church. We had a lovely, moving, funny, affirming conversation; each seeing and hearing the other in genuine fellowship.
Why? This is why we do what we do folks. So don’t stop reaching out. Don’t stop being open. Don’t stop listening; seeing and loving each person authentically. In the face of bad news and difficult times for trans people globally, let’s stand up together and say as one ‘Here I am, beloved and unashamed’. If you’re not trans, perhaps it’s time to learn a little more, or to speak up for us. Please, get involved. Create and share good news.