Those of us at More Light know that today is an especially difficult day for our transgender siblings. With the announcement today attacking 7,000 – 15,000 transgender military members who are suddenly eliminated from military service by the president combined with legislation such as bathroom bills at the state level (currently Texas is considering such a bill), it should be noted that this is not a general and chaotic attempt to appeal to a political base. These are intentional steps to undermine the safety and well being of our transgender siblings.
To that end, we encourage our communities to surround our transgender friends with love and support. An attack on any of us, is an attack on all of us. We encourage you to speak out to your state and national lawmakers to oppose these attempts to create widespread animus toward our siblings.
It is not always possible or advisable for those affected by policy to stand up for themselves. It may place someone in harm’s way to do so. Rev. Laura Walters modeled what accompaniment of her transgender neighbors in her words:
“I am a pastor. In that role I have had the privilege of working with and counseling many youth and adults including transgender people. I’ve spoken with young folks as they are beginning this journey. I can tell you transitioning is a struggle I can’t imagine. It is a journey that requires so much bravery, strength, and fortitude. It is a journey full of obstacles and pain and sometimes cruelty. It is a journey I don’t think I would be capable of making. We, as people of faith, need to be helping these courageous folks not adding to their pain and suffering as this bill does. And we certainly don’t need to be telling them what bathroom they can or cannot use.”
We are grateful for voices, such as Rev. Laura’s, that stand up and advocated for their transgender neighbors. (Laura is pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Lake Travis and an active leader in the More Light movement in Mission Presbytery. You can read more about Rev. Walters’ accompaniment of the transgender community what is happening in the Texas legislature in this linked article from Salon magazine.)
It is important we continue to build a strong network to fight hate filled, bullying executive orders and legislation. We are in hard times, but we do not go alone. We will go together with all God’s children.