Happy Easter everybody! I thought this would be an excellent time to drop a post about spirituality since this is a significantly special day for Christians around the world.
Back during the 2003 Derby I attended a star studded GLBT party. I had the pleasure of not only meeting the Lady Chablis and getting my personal copy of her autobiographical book Hiding My Candy autographed, I also had the pleasure of meeting the late Tammy Faye Bakker as well.
I had a wonderful conversation with the petite dynamo that turned to religion after she spent a few moments marveling at my 6'2" height.
We talked about the increasing negativity of the fundamentalist strains of many world religions, and their ratcheting up the faith based hatred of transgender people. She told me and later repeated it in her short speech to the assembled GLBT masses in the Olmsted that afternoon, "Never let anyone tell you God doesn't love you."
Tammy Faye was absolutely right. Whether you call the higher power God, Allah or Yahweh, know that God loves us just as equally as any cisgender person. If they say otherwise, they are violating a commandment.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
Tammy Faye has a cogent point in that too many times we allowed the Religious Right to use the Bible as a baton to beat us down with spiritually. We have also failed to push back and forcefully call out the Religious Right's lies about transgender people as well.
But as former ESSENCE editor Susan L. Taylor once wrote, "We are not powerless spectators of life. We are co-creators with God. and all around us are the gifts, the clay, that we can use to shape our world."
For too long we have allowed the Forces of Intolerance to shape our world with their faith-based hatred because we were dispirited. We transgender people are children of God and spiritual people as well.
God loves us too. We transgender people need to name it and proclaim it to all who will listen. We also need to chuck the faith based shame and guilt and believe it with all our hearts as well.
We need to resolve on this Easter Sunday that we will henceforth tap into that spiritual power, stand tall, and begin to boldly use the clay and gifts all around us to do the world shaping to our benefit for a change.