A Baptist pastor speaks: 7 things he’s learning about transgender people

half-man-half-woman-2-300x2882-288x276Read this, from Pastor Mark Wingfield. It shows an openness and beauty that made me happy.

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8 responses to “A Baptist pastor speaks: 7 things he’s learning about transgender people

  1. Interesting…and out of Dallas, too.
    Gender identity issues can be difficult enough for straight folk to understand. Throw some “made in God’s image” stuff in there and I bet it can get downright worrisome.

    • I appreciated his sentiments. It’s good to see someone not sitting in the judgment seat, and trying to understand.

      • Especially from a State that has been so vehement in its official opposition to Obama’s directive on bathroom use in public schools.

        Makes me wonder about the response to the article from his congregation. And the rest of the Baptists in Texas.

      • Well…here’s one Baptist in Texas that probably sent him a thank-you card.

        • Good find. I do not understand what it is like to be transgender. I don’t understand what it is like to be African American. Or male. Or Vietnamese. And when we don’t understand something, I wish our first instinct would be to shut up and listen to the people who do understand. We might learn something. I think this pastor sets a great example by doing that. He’s trying to learn.

          • He should give Robinson a call. They share a theology. Sounds like just the kind of connection he’s trying to make.

          • You do know what it’s like to be you. You, too, have your own interesting and unique experiences and perspectives that are worth sharing. While we cannot know exactly what’s it’s like to walk in another’s shoes, we can compassionately and respectfully listen to each other, knowing one person’s experience is exactly that: One person’s experience. And one aspect of a person is exactly that: one aspect. We are complex individuals. Who would want to be reduced to one thing?

            I believe we need to not only listen, we also need to engage in respectful interactive dialog that brings about understanding on both sides. When we meet face to face and hear stories, one person at a time, we see the whole person. And with that, a sense of caring for that person and any injustice related to that person can develop. Trouble begins, I believe, when we let one person speak for all or reduce a person down to only their race/gender/religion/sexual identity/gender identity/ethnicity, and then stereotype.

            I respect the initiative this pastor has taken in learning. It’s a delicate thing though. While this pastor’s approach to learning may bring about greater acceptance in him and in some of his flock, and bring relief for some who are transgender, it may anger others who feel they shouldn’t have to justify who they are through the mouths of medical experts or use of God. I watch the anguish and anger of a friend going through life as transgender and wish he didn’t have to experience those bad feelings. He just wants to live his life as any other man and be seen as a person with many other strengths and talents. “Transgender” shouldn’t be the first thing people attach to a person’s identity, because then it tends to become the only thing people see. I try to imagine what it might be like for him and it makes me angry, too. Of course, I don’t live with that anger all the time and every day, like him.

            On the other hand, people are being bullied, attacked, and killed. Maybe whatever works best to stop that would be a good step.

            http://www.advocate.com/transgender/2016/5/16/these-are-trans-people-killed-2016
            (Actually, there is now an 11th…)

            I hope we get past this soon so people can just be who they are.

  2. Colleen Kruger

    Thanks for posting this article, Susan. Excellent. CKruger

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