Tag Archives: religion

THIS SUNDAY: A Presentation on the Bible and Transgender Identity

Deuteronomy_23_Eunuch_and_Philip
Transgender persons are often told that their gender identity and presentation are forbidden by the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. Insults are hurled, jobs are lost, and discriminatory laws crafted based upon this belief. But is this really accurate? Does research into the linguistic origins and the historical context of the Bible suggest that rather than being condemned, transgender persons may actually be accepted within the texts?

This lecture is intended for peoples of all faiths or no specific faith as a way to help understand how different interpretations of religious texts can yield significant differences in the meaning of the text – and how to respond to some religious-based arguments against the validity of transgender identity.

Please join Una Nowling, Director of Transgender Studies at the Transgender Institute, hostess of “Trans Talk” on 90.1 FM KKFI, and the founder of Transas City, as she presents her research on a positive relationship between transgender persons and the Bible.

Location

Johnson County Central Library, 9875 W. 87th Street, Overland Park, KS 66212 – Carmack Community Room

Date and Time

3:00 – 4:15 pm, Sunday, July 31st

There is no cost to attend, although donations will be accepted for transgender persons in need in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

The Transgender Experience at Crossroads Church Kansas City

Crossroads Church

Transas City Founder Una Nowling will be speaking on the transgender experience at Crossroads Church Kansas City this coming Sunday. Her presentation will feature a few slides with transgender history and facts, will include her telling her personal story, and will address some of the current transgender events of the day (transgender discrimination, “toilet terror” laws, etc.) The presentation starts at 9:00 am Sunday, May 22, and will last (with questions and answers) until about 10:15 am. Transgender, non-transgender, and all folks in the area are very welcome to come see the lecture, or just drop by say hi.

Crossroads Church Kansas City is located in the Waldo district, at 7917 Main St, Kansas City, MO 64114.

The Subtle Threat of “Religious Exemptions” – Barber Refuses to Cut Transgender Army Veteran’s Hair

Kendall Oliver identifies as mostly male and wears masculine clothing. But the barber declined to serve Oliver, saying he doesn’t do women’s haircuts.

Source: Barber refuses to cut transgender Army veteran’s hair, citing religious views – The Washington Post

Across this nation, many conservatives pushing for laws to discriminate against LGBT persons are mostly focused on events and products related to weddings. Such as the notorious “Sweet Cakes by Melissa” case, where not only did the owners refuse to cater for a lesbian couple, but they were fined $135,000 for repeatedly deriding the couple in the media. But few people truly understand just how many nutty prohibitions exist in religious books (such as the Bible chapter Deuteronomy) – and moreover, how a person who hates LGBT people can simply point to one of many explicit or implied prohibitions in virtually any religious text to justify their discrimination.

What’s more, there is literally no legal standard preventing someone from simply inventing a belief or entire belief system of their own, provided they claim to honestly hold it. This weekend, for example, I became an ordained Minister in the Universal Life Church – something which takes no more than answering a couple of questions and clicking “Get Ordained Now.” And yet, I now can legally perform weddings and officiate at funerals in Kansas and Missouri. Given that sort of legal backing, it’s a small stretch for me to say “I refuse to serve (someone) because it offends my religious beliefs.” It really is just that easy, folks.

As a result, these so-called “religious freedom protections” are no less than ways in which to roll back civil rights for virtually anyone who is hated by anyone else. What if the barber in this case which is highlighted refused to serve African-American customers? Or Jewish ones? Or Armenians? Every single time a person backs or supports the “right” of a public business to discriminate against someone for being transgender, they also are supporting the “right” of segregation, injustice, and ghettoization. And they are supporting the right to perpetuate and spread ignorance, fear, and hate.

Discriminating against a transgender person at a place of business is fundamentally no different than discriminating against them for being black – people do not choose their gender, nor do they choose their race. And before there is a rebuttal that the Bible does not preach discrimination against other races, one has to look no further than the works of pro-slavery supporters in the 1800’s. Josiah Priest, for example, published a work in 1852 wherein African Americans were equated with “the race of Ham,” and the numerous instances of slavery and human bondage employed by the Israelites was called out as an example to follow.

And here’s something that those backing the “religious rights” of business owners are not getting. When a person operates a business in the public eye, they are utilizing shared services, incentives, and protections granted to the community as a whole in order to foster business. Deductions for business expenses, property tax incentives, tax-increment financing, special business development loans and grants, zoning protections, enhanced police and fire protection, assignment of inspectors for health and safety – businesses enjoy a wealth of considerations, incentives, or protections to help them thrive. And as a result of these considerations, businesses have a duty to serve and provide for the public in general.

If a business does not want to serve the public in general, then they need to remove themselves from the public arena, and work out of their home, place of worship, or somewhere else – and not take money and protections intended for the public as a whole.

In this case which was highlighted in the linked article, a transgender man couldn’t get a haircut at one shop. Some may argue “big deal, it’s not the end of the world. Go down the street to another barber.”

Sure. And I suppose it’s better at the back of the bus too, isn’t it?

Some Positive UK Transgender Kids News (February, 2016)

Uniforms
We have three items from the United Kingdom to highlight in this little news roundup. The first is from Brighton College, where the school is allowing all kids the right to wear the male or female school uniform, depending upon their gender identity. Note that although the school has “college” in its name, this is actually a pre-university private school. From the Daily Mirror:

Mr Cairns told students last week that uniform codes dating back to the school’s inception in 1845 would be replaced by a ‘trouser uniform’ and a ‘skirt uniform’ for all pupils up to the age of 16.

The trouser uniform will see pupils wear a full tweed blazer, tie and trousers and the skirt uniform requires students to wear a skirt, bolero jacket and open-neck reverse blouse.

Parents will be required to write to the school before pupils can switch from one uniform to another.

Girls are already walking around the campus in trousers and the school said more than one boy has expressed the desire to wear a skirt.

Pupil Fred Dimbleby, 17, son of BBC broadcaster David Dimbleby, 77, said: “Personally, I’m completely in favour of it.

“I think it’s brilliant that we as an institution are leading this new approach and that we are leading this respect towards everyone no matter what they define themselves as.

“What’s really surprised me is the way that people have taken it within the school.

“I think that it’ll be foreign for people to see someone who defines themselves as a male wearing a skirt, and I think that will be something big, but I don’t think it’ll cause any outrage or backlash because that person will be massively supported by the pupil body.”

Baptism
In another bit of news from the UK, a transgender girl has inspired the New Chapel Unitarian and Free Christian Church in Greater Manchester to start offering transgender baptisms. In short, to allow transgender persons to be baptized in their new name and gender expression.

Worship leader Jean Clements came up with the idea after meeting a couple who had a transgender child.

The church then backed the change to help others in the same situation.

Mrs Clements told the BBC : “I felt saddened by the fact that this family were being shunned by many mainstream churches.

“However, when the family came to New Chapel, the congregation welcomed them with open arms.”

Nottingham
Finally, a 5-year-old Nottinghamshire child has become one of the youngest cases of gender transition in Britain. Little Danni McFayden has re-entered her primary school as a girl after a social gender transition fully supported by both parents and teachers.

Children can take drugs to postpone puberty as well as hormone treatment, before NHS gender realignment surgery at 18.

The Gender Identity Research and Education Society says referrals for treatment of young people are growing by 50%.

Colin Pettigrew, from Nottingham County Council, said it was determined to support the youngster’s wishes.

He said: “Transgender is a new area for many school and is a characteristic protected by law.”

A Handy Religious Groups’ Transgender Acceptance Chart

The Pew Research Center has published a handy chart which details the transgender acceptance policies of several major United States religions. This may be used as a quick reference guide for transgender persons who are considering looking into a new or another religion.

There is much more specific information at the link below, including a separate chart showing the results of a survey conducted on 1,197 LGBT persons asking them how they feel society accepts them. Unsurprisingly, transgender persons reported by far the lowest rate of acceptance, with 80 percent of respondents reporting little or no support. (Thank you for the link, Lisa).

Source: Religious groups’ policies on transgender members vary widely | Pew Research Center

Una Nowling to Speak on “Trans 101” at Country Club Congregational United Church of Christ

Country Club Congregational United Church of Christ
Hello everyone,

I will be speaking about the basics of the transgender experience, along with giving a transgender history lesson, at 7:00 pm, August 19th, 2015. The venue will be the Country Club Congregational United Church of Christ, which is located at 205 W 65th St, Kansas City, Missouri 64113 (there is a map link below). Anyone who wishes to come and hear a little bit of “Trans 101” is welcome!

The electronic flyer put out by the Church reads as follows:

Trans 101 with Una Nowling
August 19th at 7 p.m.

Are you interested in learning more about the transgender community and how to be an ally to transgender individuals? If so, you are invited to an evening with Una Nowling on Wednesday, August 19th at 7 pm!

Una Nowling will share her own story and also speak about issues affecting the transgender community. Una is a transgender activist, researcher and historian who mentors local transgender folks, especially throughout the coming out process. She is the hostess of “Trans Talk” on KKFI. She also spends her time working on Transas City, a non-profit educational website and blog for the transgender community in Kansas City. This is an important educational opportunity for our church as we continue to evolve in our understanding and celebration of the LGBTQ community.

Please contact Bethany at bethany@cccucc.com for more details.

LGBTQ Children in Catholic Families: A Deacon’s View

PopeFrancis

This short essay is a good topic to highlight on Sunday, as it contains the story of how a Catholic permanent deacon successfully welcomed his transgender daughter into his family’s life. I will add however that Catholic permanent deacons are not quite the same as the main-line clergy of the Catholic faith – they can be married (if over age 35), and the wife of a permanent deacon can take a major part in the ministry as well, at a level much higher than Catholic women typically can.

That being said, permanent deacons often more directly touch the lives of the parishioners of a diocese than the established clergy, so they can have a much larger societal and social influence. So please read this short article, and if you are Catholic please see if it is something which you may want to forward (the original article, that is) to your deacon(s) as well.

LGBTQ Children in Catholic Families: A Deacon’s View of Holy Family Sunday | Bondings 2.0.

The Bible and Transgender Persons Part 9: Jesus Makes a List of Eunuchs

Jesus Hugging Woman
In the latest update to my long-running exploration of religion, faith, and transgender persons, I have now turned my attention upon Matthew 19:12. This is a somewhat curious bit of text, which is located very near the well-known phrases of “…suffer the children…” and “…what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Matthew 19:12 contains a list of the three different types of eunuch which Jesus recognizes as existing, but what’s most important is what Jesus doesn’t say – he holds no condemnation nor claim that the eunuchs have sinned.

You can read the entire article at the link below.

Matthew 19:12 | Transas City.

Transas City Chairwoman Speaks on the Radio a Second Time on Religion and Transgender Persons

Ardhanarisvara
Hello everyone. If you follow Transas City you’ve undoubtedly seen the series I’ve been posting on my research into the relationship between religion, faith, and transgender persons. Today I will be on the radio live at 1:00pm-2:00pm to speak on that very subject as part of The Tenth Voice on KKFI FM 90.1. Hostess Sandra Meade, the State Chair of the Kansas Equality Coalition, will interview me on my research, and you can stream the program over the web if you are outside the area via a link on KKFI’s home page.

Michelle Duggar Warns Arkansas Community That Transgender People Are Child Predators

I’m not even sure how a person picks someone like Michelle Duggar to be one of their spokespeople. I mean, we already know from her reality show that she’s a seriously messed-up religous zealot, forcing her girls to only wear skirts and to have their hair long, let alone the fact she’s somehow given birth to 19 children out of wanting to have her own Biblical-ordained “quiver full.”

So of course we would expect she would be amenable to slurring transgender people, apparently since she has put no actual thought into the true meaning of her Bible. Something which I’ve covered at length here on Transas City. Therefore, Duggar has been recorded for a political robocall, which is speaking out against a proposed non-discrimination ordinance for Fayetteville, Arkansas, such as the one we recently campaigned in favor of in Roeland Park.

In a new robocall obtained by the Fayetteville Flyer, Duggar claims that the bill will “allow men — yes I said men — to use womens’ and girls’ restrooms, locker rooms, showers, sleeping areas and other areas that are designated for females only.” She goes onto describe “males with past child predator convictions that claim they are female” who would enter these private areas.

Duggar also suggests that gender identity is the “preference of an adult” and that should never be placed over “the safety and innocence of a child.”

Mercifully, it turns out her effort failed, because by a 6-2 vote the Fayetteville nondiscrimination ordinance passed.

What this episode has been useful for is revealing yet another television “celebrity bigot” to keep our collective eyes on.

Michelle Duggar Warns Arkansas Community That Transgender People Are Child Predators | ThinkProgress.

The Bible and Transgender Persons Part 8: Secrets of the Body and a Genderless Soul?

Ecclesiastes-115In our last roundup of the Old and New Testaments for a little while, I want to call out two specific passages which are concerned with the body and the soul. The first, from Ecclesiastes 11:5, is often interpreted as being a rejection of transgender people by telling us that we do not know more out ourselves than God knows about us – thus it’s presumptuous to say that we know we were born in the wrong body. The objection to transgender persons via this verse of course is hypocritical, in that the person objecting is also pronouncing that God never intended to create transgender persons in the first place. In other words, it’s “God-in-a-boxism” all over again.

ArdhanarisvaraThe second passage is from Galatians 3:28, and is concerned with the concept of whether souls have gender. This passage should be interpreted as favorable to transgender people in its plain-test reading, although different translations can change the intend very subtly. In the case of this verse, the substitution of “and” for “nor” makes a huge difference, and depending upon which translation one reads, one may have a completely different interpretation. For crying out loud, I think some of the newer translators might benefit from an old Schoolhouse Rock lesson.

The Bible and Transgender Persons Part 7: Is Surgery a Sin?

1_Corinthians_618
In the latest addition to our deconstruction of the misunderstandings of religion and how it views transgender and intersex persons, we address the versus contained within 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, which appear to prohibit most aspects of body transition.

Shun fornication! Every sin that a person commits is outside the body; but the fornicator sins against the body itself Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.

This at first appears to be a more vague version of Leviticus 19:28. However, what we find here is that Christianity has long since abandoned a strict prohibition against cosmetic body modification, so the question is raised as to why SRS or FFS is any more sinful than porcelain veneers, breast augmentation, or tummy tucks?

You can read a complete examination of these verses at the link below.1 Corinthians 6:18-20

Transas City Chairwoman on the Radio Today Discussing Transgender Persons and Religion

GuanYin
Hello everyone. If you follow Transas City you’ve undoubtedly seen the series I’ve been posting on my research into the relationship between religion, faith, and transgender persons. Today I will be on the radio live at 1:00pm-2:00pm to speak on that very subject as part of The Tenth Voice on KKFI FM 90.1. Hostess Sandra Meade, the State Chair of the Kansas Equality Coalition, will interview me on my research, and you can stream the program over the web if you are outside the area via a link on KKFI’s home page.

The Bible and Transgender Persons Part 6: Crossdressing, Femininity, and Corinthians

1_Corinthians_69Shalimar, the Latin Illusion – A Crossdresser

1 Corinthians in the New Testament is essentially the teachings of the Apostle Paul, via his letters to the early Christians of Corinth. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 contains text of special concern to transgender persons and gay men alike:

9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (King James Version)

The fundamentalist view reads this text as damning crossdressers, transgender women, and gay men, and in fact it is often cited against us. However, like many passages of the Bible, a look at the original Greek in which Corinthians was composed, combined with an understanding of the context in which Paul was writing, reveals that he almost certainly wasn’t addressing LGBT persons of any era. You can read a complete examination of this verse at the link below.

1 Corinthians 6:9

The Bible and Transgender Persons Part 5: Acts 8:26-40 – Transgender Acceptance

Acts_128

In my latest exploration of the Bible and transgender persons, I explore the meaning of Acts 8:26-40. This is an important passage which tells the story of Philip and an Ethiopian eunuch, wherein the Ethiopian eunuch who was reading of Esaias (Isaiah) when Philip told him of the gospel of Jesus. The eunuch, so overcome with the new faith, asks what keeps him from being baptized and saved, and Philip replies:

…If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he[the eunuch] answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

Acts 8:26-40 says it right there. Believe with all your heart that Jesus is the son of God, and you can be saved. Being transgender has nothing to do with anything.

Read more at the link below.

Acts 8:26-40