Biblical Scholar, Seminary Professor, Episcopal Priest

Trans In the Image of God

 

 Penny-Proud-3-x400o-MURDER-facebook

I remember hearing a gay Jewish man chant in prayer: I am a gay man and I am created in the image of God.

I was profoundly moved. I thought, “Of course. Who could dare say else? Why haven’t I heard/thought this before?” To be clear, I had no doubt that my lesbian and gay sisters and brothers were in fact created in the image of God. I just wasn’t hearing it proclaimed in worship. Thankfully that changed. And I became one of those voices sharing in that proclamation.

While we are proclaiming that #BlackLivesMatter we need to be clear that all black lives matter. Sadly, there are too many who think that transgender black lives do not matter and they have the right to steal their lives and plunder their bodies. We are barely past 40 days into 2015 and New Orleans has already seen it’s fifth transgender woman killed, Penny Proud. Closer to home for me, Ty Underwood in Tyler TX was killed in what was widely believed to be a hate crime because she was a transgender woman.

Their lives matter. To me and to God. Because they are God’s children, created in the image of God. And nothing can change that.

I know this is difficult for some folk, especially religious folk, Christian folk. Just as nothing can separate us from the love of God, nothing can erase (in part or in whole) the divine image in us or in anyone else.

No self-understanding changes the fact that transgender folk are created in the image of God and remain bearers of that divine image.

No wardrobe choice changes the fact that transgender folk are created in the image of God and remain bearers of that divine image.

No ornamentation or adornment choice changes the fact that transgender folk are created in the image of God and remain bearers of that divine image.

No surgical procedure changes the fact that transgender folk are created in the image of God and remain bearers of that divine image.

We are all the image of God as we are, as we become who we will be.

To be a transperson is to be created in the image of God and nothing can ever change that.

And someone ought to say so. (I know that there are many – but not enough voices – proclaiming just that.) Someone – someone more – needs to say so in sacred spaces. Black life is sacred because all life is sacred. There are no exceptions.

Trans life is sacred. Trans life is sacred because all life is sacred. There are no exceptions.

2 Responses

  1. Great post!

    14 February 2015 at 1:56 pm

  2. Amen!

    26 April 2015 at 1:30 pm

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