This year we come into Transgender Day of Visibility amid a wave of legislation targeting transgender and non-binary people. Over a dozen states are currently deliberating multiple anti-transgender bills and regulations including sports bans and health care restrictions. Unfortunately, 2022 is shaping up to exceed 2021 in anti-transgender legislation, which was the worst year to date.
One of the most egregious examples is Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s order to treat gender affirming care as child abuse and to investigate parents for supporting their children, as we wrote about last month. www.transepiscopal.org/blog/in-a-time-of-fear-solidarity-and-love
Another horrible tactic in this legislative wave is to ban transgender athletes, especially transgender girls and transgender women, from participation in sports. Arizona, Oklahoma, and Utah are the latest states to ban transgender athletes in girls’ sports. Meanwhile, Lia Thomas, a transgender woman who swims for University of Pennsylvania, and who won the NCAA women’s title in the 500 yard freestyle, has been the target of horrific transmisogynistic criticism. This pattern of criticising transgender women arthletes and/or seeking to bar them from women’s sports continues a longstanding pattern of gender policing in women’s sports that has been aimed especially at transgender women and cis women of color. From the medical ”femininity certificates” in the 1940s and 1950s to scrutiny of testosterone levels today, the governing institutions of sport have sought to define what constitutes an acceptable woman’s body.
In the midst of this ongoing wave, we are buoyed by the support of leaders and communities across The Episcopal Church. The Rev. Gay Jennings, The Presidient of House of Deputies, in a letter decrying Gov. Abbott’s anti-transgender regulation wrote, “No matter where transgender children of God are under threat, the Episcopal Church must stand with them in love and solidarity.” And in their March Meeting, the House of Bishops decried anti-transgender and nonbinary legislation and “voice[d] our love and continued support for all persons who identify as transgender or non-binary and their families.” We give thanks for the people and communities of the Episcopal Church who stand in solidarity with us, who celebrate us for who we are, and who support us in the struggle.
On this day TransEpiscopal lifts up the beauty, courage, audacity, and strength of transgender and non-binary people. We celebrate that we are are made in God’s image. We reject actions aimed at our erasure. We reject theologies based in rigidly binary, complementarian ideas of the human person and uplift the whole spectrum and goodness of our genders. We celebrate transgender and non-binary lives in all our multiplicity of shapes, sizes, ethnicities, races, abilities, and ages. Today we stand up in love!