Saturday, July 18, 2009
There and Back Again
I along with seven companions have traveled to a strange land, filled with the fearsome Smog. We were seeking a great treasure. There were challenges all along the way, but in the end we achieved great things. Sound a little familiar? Well there were no wizards, no Hobbits, no Dwarfs and no Dragon. We were not in Middle Earth, but at the General Convention of the Episcopal Church. A small group of Transgender Clergy and Laity brought Transgender issues in front of the Church in a way that had never happened before. The General Convention happens every three years and consists of lay and clergy delegations along with their Bishops from each Diocese of the Episcopal Church. At the last Convention only one of our number attended for even a short while. That was the beginning. This year eight members of TransEpiscopal were there. Seven resolutions were presented and four of them passed. Since some of the resolutions were redundant only one remains a disappointment, changes to the Canon on Ordination.
What can we make of this development? Our treasure is a church that is more open and more caring. Along the way we met loving friends and allies and we didn’t find hate and prejudice. This is very special since all too often Transgender people find hate, intolerance and prejudice. The Episcopal Church is truly becoming a church of openness, tolerance and an instrument of God’s love. As a Priest in the Church and a Transgender person myself, I find all this extremely hopeful. My ordination and my ministry and my commitment remain intact and are in a way validated (I have been ordained the longest of any of the group, having been ordained to the Priesthood 38 years ago.)