The Bay Area Reporter, San Francisco, CA, reports on The Episcopal Church’s move towards full inclusion of transgender persons and the work by Episcopalians to make it happen:
They were a party of eight, four transgender women, two transmen, a gay man, and straight woman ally. They told friends, “We’re going to Anaheim,” not too far away from Disneyland.
They were also change agents. By the end of their church’s triennial gathering last month this band of sisters and brothers made Episcopalian history with the advent of trans-inclusive action and convention-floor testimony from a 19-year-old man believed to be the first openly transgender deputy.
“Members of TransEpiscopal made an incredible difference by giving incarnational witness to the “T” in LGBT and – in the process – moving the Episcopal Church further toward its goal of being a truly inclusive and welcoming church,” said the Reverend Susan Russell of All Saints Church in Pasadena, California.
Although not the first faith group or denomination to pass trans-inclusive resolutions the paper comments on the bellwether nature of TEC:
Comparatively speaking, the 2.1 million-member Episcopal Church, the U.S. branch of the 77 million-member Anglican Communion, is not the first to advance trans-inclusive denominational policy. And yet, with the adoption of four transgender resolutions in Anaheim, the Episcopal Church, often considered a denominational bellwether, is now the largest American church to go officially pro-trans.
For a church “most people think of as the closest to mainstream Protestantism,” said national transgender activist and Episcopalian Donna Cartwright of Baltimore, the Anaheim convention is a significant development for the transgender community.
“It tells [us] that our stories and journeys can be honored in a religious way,” said Cartwright, who was part of the eight-person group in Anaheim. “The body that grappled with sexual orientation is now doing so with gender identity. There is a path for all of us to full acceptance in the body of Christ.”
Read more here.