God, Church, and Transgender People

| Oct 19, 2015
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How many LGBT people might have been in this congregation?

How many LGBT people might have been in this congregation?

God and Church are touchy subjects for most of us who are transgender. Many of us have been harassed and persecuted by our churches or congregations. Many of us feel rejected and abandoned by God or our spiritual congregation.

I was raised in a family where I was taught that God loved us and that you went to church to celebrate God’s love. I believed so strongly in God’s love that I wanted to share this good news with others. So I studied at graduate theology school and I served at various Christian schools for 35 years. While on a staff prayer retreat I realized that God accepted me and loved me as female. What a surprise and what joy! This experience helped me to have the courage to transition. To my great surprise, God’s plan and my church school’s plan were not the same! I was harassed, persecuted, and eventually fired by my church school. I felt betrayed and abandoned by God and my church. The good news is that soon afterwards I was hired by another church school. Although I felt somewhat vindicated, my relationship with God and the church had been damaged. My therapist, and a good experience with another congregation, helped me to realize that it wasn’t God who rejected me, but my church leaders.

My experience is not unique. I have transgender friends who have been told by their congregations that they were going to hell or were called ‘evil’ and other such names, fired from church jobs, and basically been shamed out of congregations. A minister friend of mine who was transgender friendly — her organist was transgender — was discharged from her congregation for being ‘too’ transgender friendly.

Some of the most faith filled people I have ever met are transgender folks. However, some of the people most persecuted by their congregations are transgender folks. Today many faithful transgender folks feel rejected and abandoned by God and their church. I do believe that we are all God’s beloved children and are loved by him/her unconditionally. I also believe that most churches have failed miserably when it comes to us, and should be ashamed of themselves for promoting hatred rather than love.

So, please remember that God loves you unconditionally. If you are in a good place with your relationship with God and/or your congregation, terrific! If not, why not re-connect with God? God did not reject or abandon you, even if your congregation did. If you can find a church that channels God’s love for you, then why not take advantage of its tender loving care and support? However, if the congregation you are a part of, or raised in, promotes hate against our life style, then RUN away as fast as you can. Such a congregation will only foster false guilt and lead to depression. If you haven’t found a congregation that fits you, keep searching. There are transgender friendly congregations. But if you have “had it with church,” then take time to remember each day how much God truly loves you.

Stay strong and stay proud!


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Category: Transgender Body & Soul

JosyC

About the Author ()

I am a retired trans woman who lives in florida.

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