Not all Christians are hateful, ignorant, or fearful of LGBTQ people. I am a Christian, and I am also transgender. In fact, I know many Christians who also identify along the LGBTQ spectrum. As my transgender brothers and sisters are crying out for rights, crying out for protection, crying out for sacred spaces within the mainstream, crying out for marriage equality supporters to not forget them, I cry for Leelah. May every Christian feel convicted by the Spirit of God to look within and determine how you can contribute to the building up of every body because until all people are free, no one is truly free.
I am an alcoholic. I could blame growing up a closeted transgender youth in a severely conservative religious environment. I could blame the fact that for much of my life I have suffered from chronic depression. I could blame any number of people or situations that I have found myself placed in over the years. But this wouldn’t solve anything.
I couldn’t ferry her through troubled waters and she couldn’t do the same for me. I didn’t know how to help her stay sober and she couldn’t possibly have known how to keep my suicidal tendencies at bay. Those tasks are not jobs that either of us were qualified for.
When everyone wasn’t yelling at each other, appropriate conversations would typically consist of comparing eating disorders, relapses, and suicide attempts over breakfast. But in the first 24 hours in the Psych Ward I learned I have the ability to pick myself back up again.
The story of how I became the first transgender man ordained to the Old Catholic priesthood is a complicated one. I was female and my church didn’t ordain women. This is before I had a sense of my own sexuality, before I had any language for my gender identity.
This Trans Faith Weekend was about beautiful spirits coming together and dreaming the collective dream of freedom where peace becomes possible and everyone has the opportunity to thrive.