Around the world, participants in the Transgender Day of Remembrance are attending vigils to commemorate all the transgender and gender-nonconforming people lost to anti-transgender violence in the past year. These vigils will include reading the 87 names of those know to have died this past year, along with the where, when and how they were killed. To find a vigil near you, click here.
As described in a previous Bondings 2.0 post, the Transgender Awareness Week (November 14th-20th) began with a National Catholic Reporter article by Catholic theologians who described our church’s moral imperative to, “promote wholeness for transgender people.” While today’s vigils bring the Transgender Awareness Week to an end, our work to end anti-transgender violence cannot end. These vigils serve to remind us of that moral imperative.
We can all take small incremental steps throughout the year to educate ourselves on the realities of transgender people. Below is a list of actions that New Ways Ministry suggests parishes, schools, and other Catholic communities take to raise awareness of and to support transgender people.
Following this list is a list of links to help you continue learning about transgender issues. Click the link to read the material or view the video.
New Ways Ministry’s Suggestions for Including Transgender People and Families in Your Catholic Parish, School, or Community
- Have a specific meeting to watch videos and read some of the resources listed below.
- If you have a book club, include some of the books on transgender experiences.
- Speak about needs, concerns, joys of transgender people in homilies, prayers, group sharing, talks, bulletins.
- Be visibly supportive of transgender people in work, prayer, and social environments.
- Develop a transgender-friendly resource library; subscribe to transgender-friendly periodicals.
- Recognize and/or participate in public transgender events.
- Invite support groups for transgender people to use church/community space.
- Hold an inclusive Mass celebrating all forms of diversity.
- Sponsor a retreat or day of recollection for transgender people and their families.
- Include transgender topics in adult religious education and youth ministry programs.
- Put an ad in the local LGBTQ paper inviting transgender people to your parish events and liturgies.
- Sponsor a panel inviting transgender people to speak about their faith.
- Form support groups for transgender people and for their parents, families, and friends
- Become involved and/or educate parish around pro/anti-transgender initiatives in legislation.
- Work with neighboring parishes to sponsor education days on transgender topics.
- Include transgender organizations in potential parish stewardship opportunities as both donors and recipients.
- Have your faith community host New Ways Ministry’s “TransForming Love” workshop, which introduces transgender issues from scientific, social, and religious perspectives. Email email@example.com for more information.
- Provide an all-gender restroom.
- Respect a person’s pronoun preference.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on transgender issues.
The Human Rights Campaign’s post on Addressing Anti-transgender Violence: Exploring Realities, Challenges, and Solutions For Policymakers and Community Advocates
Learn about six notable “Transgender Heroes.”
Becoming Who God Created Me To Be, by Jes Stevens—Queer Catholic (from Believe Out Loud’s 10 Transgender Christians Share Their Journey Stories)
Laverne Cox on Issues facing the Transgender Community
Jazz Jennings’ 10 Things You Need To Know About Transgender People
For Students, Parents, and Schools:
Connect with Transgender Student Rights (TSR), a community of youth dedicated to creating safe spaces for transgender and gender nonconforming students
Watch the Educators! Support Trans and GNC Students! webinar.
Bondings 2.0 Posts on Catholic Transgender Resources
(For all previous Bondings 2.0 posts on transgender issues, go to “Transgender” in the “Categories” section of the right-hand column of this blog or click here.)
–Glen Bradley, New Ways Ministry, November 20, 2016