More than 1,500 New Yorkers gathered today in Manhattan to mourn the death of a 32 year-old gay man, who was shot down on Friday just blocks away from the historic Stonewall Inn in an apparent act of anti-gay bias.
Helping Churches Participate in Transgender Day of Remembrance
This week is Transgender Awareness Week, which will culminate next Tuesday in the Transgender Day of Remembrance, where we remember those who lost their lives due to anti-trans violence. Memorials will be held around the country in various cities.
Faith communities may also memorialize those who have been lost. Congregations are encouraged to offer a petition in your worship services in recognition of the Transgender Day of Remembrance. The Lutheran LGBT organization, ReconcilingWorks has provided worship materials for congregations, including different forms of Confession and Forgiveness and Prayers of the People.
These worship resources are written by the Rev. Jay Wilson, a self-described queer and genderqueer transguy, autistic and disabled. He also identifies as a Lutheran postmodern, third-wave feminist, academic geek, disability rights activist, and social justice advocate. Rev. Wilson has a degree in social work as well as divinity, and has worked with homeless populations, in advocacy, and in academia. He is a member of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries.
Rev. Wilson notes that the resources were written for a Lutheran context, and may be adapted to other traditions, and he warns that this liturgy talks about violence, which may be difficult for some people.
Let us confess our sin in the presence of God and one another.
Gracious God, Have mercy on us.
We confess that we have turned from you and from your claimed people.
We have given ourselves to the powers of sin in division, bickering, bullying, isolation, hatred, fear and oppression.
We have sinned against you and your people in judgmental thoughts, careless words, and fearful deeds; by what we have said and done, and by what we have left undone.
We have left members of our community isolated and alone.
We have not confronted hatred and violence.
We have left our own privilege and sexism unexamined.
We have failed to notice and challenge gender oppression in, with, and under our racism, ageism, classism, ableism, sizism, binary thinking, and all the other ways we oppress.
We have turned away from hunger and poverty, turned our backs on the suffering of most of our world.
We have loved our own comfort more than we have loved others.
We have put our gender norms before our love for you and for our neighbors.
Turn us again toward you, bringing us into full relationship through your Spirit with all of our neighbors.
Forgive us, renew us, and lead us to walk in the ways of the table-turner, the oppression-healer and the community-builder. Let your Holy Spirit speak through us and guide us into community.
GLAAD is lifting up the lives and stories of transgender people for Transgender Awareness Week, as well as the Transgender Day of Remembrance. GLAAD is partnering with MTPC (the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition) to release new videos for the I AM: Trans People Speak campaign. You can participate in the I AM: Trans People Speak campaign by submitting your own video here.
GLAAD encourages all faith communities to participate in both Transgender Awareness Week and the Transgender Day of Remembrance. These resources are a helpful way to get started. Let us know in the comments below what your faith community is planning to do/has already done.