- November 19, 2013
The following post comes from Rev. Dwayne Johnson, pastor at the Metropolitan Community Church of D.C., which is hosting Transgender Day of Remembrance this year in D.C. as it has many years before. MCC churches have a legacy of opening their doors to those most marginalized in our communities. Throughout the country and internationally, they will be hosting Transgender Day of Remembrance services. We are honored to partner with a faith community that has, since its beginning, saved countless lives and offered spiritual nourishment to those who needed it most.
“We are all at risk. Violence and hatred is not very focused. Transphobia hates everything trans, and it hates everything that looks like trans and everything standing next to trans and anything talking to trans.”
-- Rev. Miller Hoffman, Open Door Metropolitan Community Church; Boyds, Maryland
Every person matters. Every body matters. Transphobia fails to see the inherent beauty and value of non-binary gender expressions. Transphobia only sees through the narrow lens of gender conformity. Sadly, religion has contributed to this narrow lens by proscribing religious values to gender associations. Religion has been the voice of patriarchy and misogyny, often proclaiming: “male and female God created them.” Some who act in violence towards trans individuals, use religion to justify their actions. We oppose this violence, inspired by a faith that propels our activism.
As trans violence continues, it is important that faith communities offer a countervoice to religious violence. That’s a key reason why Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) in 40 countries will be partnering with various organizations to memorialize those who have been taken from us. At its best, faith rises in solidarity with those whom fear would destroy, and calls for mutual understanding and healing. This faith is inspired by ancient expressions such as the psalmist who prays, “You created my inmost being and stitched me together in my mother’s womb. For all these mysteries I thank you—for the wonder of myself, for the wonder of your works—my soul knows it well. My frame was not hidden from you while I was being made in that secret place, knitted together in the depths of the earth; your eyes saw my body even there” (Psalm 139:13-16, The First Egalitarian Translation).
Through our activism we join the countervoice that is the voice of love---a voice that says every person matters. At MCC, we often symbolize this voice of love through the lighting of candles which “illuminate our fear and our hope, and invoke the love and justice that appears across faiths as sacred fire” (Rev. Miller Hoffman). On the Transgender Day of Remembrance we will advocate for justice, show up at vigils, and offer solace for the grieving. Through faith, we transform ourselves and we transform the world, and in that transformation we live and act with hope.
Find details on the November 20th Transgender Day of Remembrance vigil at MCCDC, and details on other services across the country, at hrc.org/tdor.