J and I attended the virtual meeting for the parents of trans kids support group through his church today. Maybe it was just because I was connecting with other people but for the first time in a couple of years, I felt like maybe I could see a pathway forward to believing in a Christian God again. It would just be a very progressive form of Christianity.
The trans support group had a speaker join us by Zoom and I really, really liked the things she had to say. Her name was Rev. Junia Joplin, a former Baptist pastor who lost her job when she came out as transgender. Long story short, she ended up getting hired by a very progressive church in Toronto, where she is fully accepted and affirmed.
She gave us some links of suggested books to read that explore Christianity and transgender issues in a positive light. I ordered a couple of them. To be honest, it had really never occurred to me that there could be a progressive way to read the Bible and I’m curious to know what the books will say. I wonder if they’ll sway me one way or the other.
Apparently, there’s this whole world of queer theology that I haven’t really been exposed to before. I’m so used to the exact opposite, of people even among my extended family and in-laws who think you can’t reconcile faith and being LGBT.
Like J and I both said during the meeting, having transgender kids makes that a make-or-break issue for us with church. Any church that doesn’t affirm my children will never be right for me.
On the surface, at least, I can understand the rationale for a progressive vision of God. I fully believe that he would support transgender people as children of God. If we’re told that God can forgive murderers and prostitutes, why not transgender people who are only trying to live true to themselves? They’re not even in the same ballpark as murderers and prostitutes and their only “sin” is being who God created them to be.
I don’t know what the pathway forward looks like for me but it’s an interesting possibility to explore. I guess I have also kinda internalized this message that God loves everybody except me, and by extension, my kids. But I don’t have any rational basis for these beliefs.
I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to attend J’s church, even though they’re extremely progressive and are becoming well-known for their transgender outreach in particular. That’s largely because the only time they meet is 10:30 am on Sunday mornings, a time when I’m usually asleep.
But I’m also meeting a lot of other people through this group, like members of the local PFLAG group. In many ways, I’ve been looking for a place to belong, and maybe advocating for my kids will take a bigger role in my future.