Saturday, April 1, 2017

Gender Revolution - A Conversation in Faith

Originally posted on Facebook on February 7, 2017.

Last night, at a Lutheran church, we screened the National Geographic documentary #GenderRevolution just a few hours before the television premiere and followed it with a panel discussion of clinicians, advocates, clergy, and parents of transgender kids. We threw together the event on just 8 days notice, and we had just about 50 people join us from the local community and beyond.
The film was great (watch it! It's available On Demand starting today, and will be streaming from the web in a couple weeks), and the panel and conversation was interesting and informative (even for me who served on the panel!). But two things stick out for me, as a parent of a transgender kid and as a person of faith.
First, seeing fifty people gather to have this conversation, share their stories, and ask questions about how we can do better for the trans community was extremely affirming for my 10 year old daughter. She didn't want to be a part of the panel ahead of time (which was more than fine!), but afterwards she said "you know, it would have been good if a kid could answer their questions, I could have answered their questions". This opportunity and conversation helped her find her voice and encouraged her that even people in our little part of the world care and want to listen and learn.
Second, a church creating this opportunity is significant for both people of faith and people who are not connected to a faith tradition. I know there are many, many churches doing things like this and so much more, but the church-based opposition is still louder. With so many in the country using faith as a weapon against the LGBTQ community, people of faith and our communities absolutely must boldly, intentionally, and loudly stand as places and people of welcome, support, and advocacy. It is not enough to say "well not all Christians..." in our own defense. It's not about us. It's about a community being actively marginalized by the 47% of people of faith who do not support them. We're the majority. Let's make that clear.

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