Beyond Acceptance: Deepening Our Welcome of Transgender People
The message below went out on Thursday, May 10, 2012 to Standing on the Side of Love supporters in the Philadelphia area. You can sign-up for these emails here.
Do you still remember the first time you walked into a UU congregation? Perhaps that’s when it happened or maybe a little later, but at some point, there was a moment when you began to believe that this could be home. That perhaps this could become the spiritual home in which you could grow and find meaning and be, or even become, your most authentic self.
UU congregations strive towards being welcoming and inclusive to all. Yet it’s a constant journey to reach that goal, not something we’ve already accomplished. It’s in the spirit of this journey that I will be at the Beyond Inclusion: Creating Trans-Celebratory Faith Communities workshop at the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference on Friday June 1st from 10:15 to 12:45. One of the presenters is Alex Kapitan of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s LGBT Ministries office.
The Philadelphia Trans Health Conference, hosted by the Mazzoni Center at the Philadelphia Convention Center, brings together people from all walks of life who care about issues of transgender health and wellness—mind, body, spirit, and community. It’s the largest transgender-focused conference in the world, it’s completely FREE, and it’s right in our backyard.
I urge all UU congregations in the Philadelphia/Wilmington region to send someone to take part. Odds are that there are several people who have walked through the doors of your congregation who identify in some way as trans or genderqueer. It is my profound prayer and hope that when they walk in, they find the haven—one that goes beyond mere acceptance—that they are seeking, that all of us are seeking.
Let me add one last note. It will do no good making our congregations havens for all people if we do not let them know we are here for them. I invite you to join me at Philadelphia Trans Health in wearing your Standing on the Side of Love t-shirt as a way to bear public witness that we, as UUs, stand beyond inclusion and with love, affirming and promoting the inherent worth of all.
Member and Church Administrator
Unitarian Universalist Church of Delaware County, Media, PA