We come into #GC80 with a sense of urgency about formation and training for support and advocacy in congregations, particularly amid the wave of anti-trans, trans-misogynistic legislation that has been growing across the United States, increasingly targeting trans girls and non-binary youth and their families. For years members of our community have lifted up the importance of education in support of trans and non-binary members at all levels of the church, from churchwide to diocesan structures, from seminaries to congregations. This year, resolutions D030 and D072 seek funding to support faith-rooted formational resources to be gathered, developed, and staffed by the Church Center. We have testified in support of both resolutions and are glad they have been added to the consent calendar. Resolution A063, as substituted by Committee 16, would add a staff position to the Church Center, “Director of LGBTIQ and Women’s Ministries,” to support training, leader networking and data collection. It, too, has been added to the consent calendar. Never has there been a staff position that directly supported LGBTIQ ministries in this church, and we are thrilled that it has been added to the proposed budget with full funding.
Responding to that anti-trans legislative wave is also energizing our support of D066 “Addressing Restrictions on Access to Gender Affirming Care.” Several of us who are trans or non-binary, as well as several of us who are parents or other family members of trans and non-binary people testified in its support. We will share some of that testimony in a forthcoming blog post.
And because non-binary people continue to struggle with discrimination within the Episcopal Church, we strongly support D029 “Affirming Non-Binary Access and Leadership” which underlines that the language of our nondiscrimination canons does indeed include people with non-binary genders, and not only those who are male or female.
In this curtailed General Convention, we have been hard at work, and we are pressing forward to complete the work before us in Baltimore.