“Today I am speaking up for the many transgender people I love,” Kathy Baldock, a straight Evangelical Christian ally, wrote yesterday. “I admit, that just five years ago, I could not have verbalized an intelligent definition of the word ‘transgender,’” noted Ms. Baldock in her blog post for LGBTQ Nation. “I understand,” she continued, “that most of us know very little or nothing of the [transgender] community. But mockery and ignorance is not the way to deal with it.”
Ms. Baldock’s biography can be found on her website, Canyonwalker Connection: Repairing the Breach Between the Church and the GLBT Christian Community. Four years ago, at San Francisco Pride, she began her Str8Apology initiative. She now regularly attends Pride parades in a shirt that reads “Hurt by a church? Get a straight apology here.”
In light of recent media portrayal of opponents of marriage equality and equal protections for LGBT people as predominantly religious, GLAAD is pleased to see more and more LGBT affirming people of faith speaking out. Ms. Baldock explains that while LGB people are receiving more and more recognition and affirmation from faith communities and religious leaders, transgender people are being left behind:
I hope the people of God start speaking up loudly on issues of injustice against any targeted group. [...] My faith drives me to not be passive while others are oppressed. When I witness pastors and religious leaders intentionally shaming and bringing ridicule upon transgender people, I will not be silent. If you need education, get it; ignorance is not a validation.
GLAAD’s Media Reference Guide and Transgender Resource Page are good beginning resources for both journalists and the general population to educate themselves about transgender issues and to clarify common errors—such as the grammatically incorrect use of “transgendered” instead of the adjective “transgender,” which appears in this article and often others. The Institute for Welcoming Resources also provides Trans Action: A Transgender Curriculum for Churches and Religious Institutions.
GLAAD continues to commend and celebrate the constantly growing momentum of LGBT affirmation in faith communities, and applauds Ms. Baldock for standing up as an ally for transgender people and all LGBT people of faith.