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Transgender faith movement grows

Transgender faith movement grows

Jaweed Kaleem at the Huffington Post becomes one of the first religion writers to explore the increasingly visible transgender presence in faith communities in the United States. He writes:

After historic U.S. Supreme Court rulings that knocked down the Defense of Marriage Act and effectively invalidated California’s gay marriage ban, gay and lesbian communities are celebrating nationwide, including this weekend in New York at one of the country’s most popular gay pride celebrations. A growing number of religious groups, and gay and lesbian clergy — many of whom campaigned for the marriage rulings — will also take part in the festivities. But there’s less to cheer among the smaller and lesser-known transgender religious communities.

In recent years, some Christian and Jewish denominations have started to ordain and marry gay and lesbian people, and a small network of gay-friendly Muslim prayer groups now gather regularly in the United States. Yet, transgender spirituality is more controversial and less organized, Weekley and others in the burgeoning “trans faith” movement say.

“The trans experience is still little-understood in the general community and even more so at times in churches and spiritual spaces,” said Chris Paige, a Lawrenceville, N.J.-based transgender activist who runs Transfaith, a nonprofit led by transgender people that focuses on faith and spirituality issues. “Most of the time when we go into a congregation, we have the experience of being the first one. Even in congregations that say they accept transgender people, it doesn’t mean they have ever met a trans person.”


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