That's right, you didn't misread that. I have a female pastor. Quite frankly. she can say in a 25-30 minute sermon what it took some pastors in some Black churches I attended back home one to two hours to say. I'm one of four transwomen and three Black members who attend Edenside Christian Church.
See, I'm a little more complex than some of y'all thought, huh?
One of the things I've noted in my decade plus interactions with the transgender community is the bitterness and in some cases outright hostility toward people who profess to be Christians.
When I've attended various gender conferences in the past I've seen a variety of faith traditions expressed and embraced up to and including atheism and agnosticism. But say you're a Christian and you're looked at like you just dropped in from Mars.
Those strange looks also come from the Forces of Intolerance little 'c' Christians as well. The ChristoBorg had it implanted in their hive mind consciousness that we GLBT people aren't and couldn't possibly be Christians.
Au contraire, my brothers and sisters in Christ. I just don't believe in your warped, Scripture-twisting, vengeful God, hate filled version of it.
One of the most enjoyable parts of the JCPS employment policy battle a few months ago was when I got to see the YouTube video of me speaking in front of the board. At the point of my remarks in which I announced I was a Christian, a voice in the background says, "No way!"
Yes, way! I was baptized on August 2, 1972 at my home church in Houston. Deal with it.
I have had to call on that faith many times before, during and after my transition. It gave me clarity of thought when my mind was troubled or I was upset about things going on in my life. It gave me the strength and courage to become the Phenomenal Transwoman I am today when I was unsure, fearful and afraid that I could do it.
When I suffered through a six month employment drought and didn't know how I was going to pay next month's rent on my apartment or put food on my table when i exhausted the money I had saved up for surgery, people stepped up without me asking them to feed me or pay back money I'd loaned to them and forgotten about dating back several years.
Sen. Obama had this to say about faith in a June 26, 2006 Chicago Tribune interview:
I see faith as more than just a comfort to the weary or a hedge against death. It is an active palpable agent in the world. Ir is a source of hope.
I agree with him. It is a source of hope. It is why I have the unwavering conviction and confidence that we transpeople will accomplish our legislative crown jewels. My faith is why I believe that the current negativity that we suffer from friends and foes alike will end. My faith is why I know that one day we will be fully functioning and valued members of society all over the world.
The day I stop believing that will be the day when I accept every myth and falsehood that our detractors say about us, and that ain't happening. Tammy Faye told me this when I met her in 2003, and I hold fast to this comment every time I hear the Religious Reich spewing forth anti-transgender Hateraid disguised in Christian drag.
"Never let anyone say that God doesn't love you, because He does."
Thanks Tammy Faye, Rev. Sally, Soulforce, Dignity, More Light, and every Christian theologian, pastor and real Christian who never lets me or any GLBT Christian forget that, feels that way, and backs up their words with positive actions.