I don’t write much about being a transgender minister, but having spent the weekend at the first-ever conference for transgender religious leaders, it seems appropriate.Â The conference was sponsored by the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies and the National Center for Transgender Equality.Â It was an excellent conference, considering the limited resources that were available.
The number of participants was limited to fifty, but even so, the most amazing part of the event was meeting and getting to know so many other folks like me.Â Not just transgender folks, but people who have not given up their faith and faithfulness to their religious traditions.Â I met people from all over the country and in many different traditions. I felt, for the first time, surrounded by colleagues who understand both parts of my life. (Okay, so Unitarian Universalism confuses them a bit, but it’s close enough…)
I’ve now been in a room with people who describe their transgender experience as a gift and blessing, both for themselves and for their religious communities.Â I heard my life and ministry honored, but also understood. I had conversations with others where almost no translation or editing needed to occur.Â I met someone I consider a mentor.Â I finally, just for a few minutes, let it sink in that I am not alone.
Of course, I haven’t been totally alone.Â But there was something different, something new about seeing so many people who not only don’t devalue me or my ministry, but understand it as holy.
It was good.