More Light Presbyterians announces first transgender executive director

More Light Presbyterians (MLP) announced the appointment of Alex McNeil as executive director. McNeil will become the first openly transgender man to fill the position of executive director at MLP. McNeil is a known advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) Christians and brings with him extensive experience in the areas of fundraising, advocating and organization development. McNeil has trained hundreds of Christians to become leaders in the community through the Institute for Welcoming Resources and the Reconciling Ministries Network, raised funds at Equality Maryland and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and has rallied extensively for the passage of Amendment 10A in the PC (USA) and of marriage equality legislation in Maryland.

While MLP is an organization that is dedicated to promoting acceptance and inclusion of LGBTQ persons in the Presbyterian Church (USA), McNeil being the first openly transgender person will also be ushering in a new wave of inclusion for a minority group that is often left out, even when gay, lesbian, or bisexual issues are being addressed. Unemployment rates for transgender persons is double the American average and until the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is passed, it is still legal to not hire or terminate a transgender person, simply because they are transgender. 

“I’m honored to join More Light, which has always been on the forefront of the Christian tradition of fostering acceptance for the most vulnerable among us. I look forward to building on this proud tradition to create a fully welcoming church,” said Alex McNeill.

McNeil holds a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Currently McNeil’s journey to ordination is being chronicled in the documentary, Out of Order and he is set to lead workshops and have a “vital presence” at the MLP National Conference in Tucson, AZ which is held from September 27th through the 29th.

On choosing McNeil, Nathan Sobers, co-moderator of MLP had this to say. "Our search committee unanimously chose Alex because he has a proven track record of leading and growing organizations. We believe that he is uniquely qualified to lead MLP during this important moment in the church.”

Congratulations to Alex and welcome to your new leadership role!