Wednesday, February 18, 2015

TransEpiscopal General Convention Appeal

Dear friends and members of TransEpiscopal:

In the 10 years since TransEpiscopal was founded, we’ve compiled an impressive record of achievement, and that record is all the more remarkable because we have accomplished much with little in the way of resources.

At General Convention in 2009, we won passage of resolutions supporting secular civil rights legislation for trans and gender non-conforming people, nondiscrimination in lay hiring, and adoption of a commitment to make forms throughout the church more trans-friendly.

Building on this momentum with the strong support of our coalition partners (particularly IntegrityUSA which produced the film Voices of Witness Out of the Box), the GC of 2012 acted to add gender identity/expression to its canons prohibiting discrimination in access to the ordination process and in the rights of the laity. These were tremendous victories that truly put The Episcopal Church on the map as a denomination that recognizes the place and leadership of trans people in all aspects of its life.

Yet as we continue living into these transformative decisions, it could not be clearer that our work is far from finished. As General Convention 2015 approaches, TransEpiscopal plans a strong witness to:

  1. Recommit the church to transforming the unjust structures that continue to kill trans people. As of this writing – mid February, 2015 – we have already lost six trans women of color in the U.S. so far this year alone. One of them, Taja DeJesus, was part of the Grace Cathedral community in the Diocese of California. Living into our church’s collective decisions means deepening our commitment to transform the unjust, intersectional structures of transphobia, racism, homophobia, misogyny and classism—structures that are literally lethal.
  2. Support trans youth and their families. As Leelah Alcorn’s suicide so strongly revealed this year, for trans identified young people, coming out can be a particular struggle. For trans youth and for their families, a supportive, non-judgmental church community can be literally life saving.
  3. Support non-binary identified trans people. Many trans people – particularly trans youth and young adults – do not understand ourselves to be straightforwardly male or female. Many decide not to medically transition. Many use pronouns other than he/she. Welcoming and lifting up the leadership of trans people means honoring this complexity and ambiguity, and offering emotional, spiritual, and practical support for navigating a binary world. 
This work will require developing and producing educational materials for use at convention, as well as defraying the cost of attending convention for TransEpiscopal volunteers. As in past years, we will be proud to work with our allies, The Consultation, Integrity-USA, and The Chicago Consultation. None of our victories could have happened without the collegiality and community of these coalitions.

And none of it could have happened without your support.

A gift of $50, $100, $250 or $500 will make a crucial difference in our capacity to change hearts and minds this summer. Please go to the TransEpiscopal web page at, look for the “donate” button on the left side, and give what you can. Alternately, you can mail a check made out to our fiscal sponsor, Integrity USA-- just be sure to put TransEpiscopal in the memo line, then mail to:

770 Massachusetts Ave #390170
Cambridge, MA 02139   USA


Donna Cartwright
The Rev. Dr. Cameron Partridge
The Rev. Gari Green


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