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a difficult position to be in

I don’t envy Pope Francis.

He is walking a fine line in trying to say that the church needs to minister to all people while at the same time trying to discourage the “colonization” of transgender teaching in schools. He is apparently trying to admonish the normalizing of the idea that one can "choose" a gender identity that runs counter to their birth sex.

Where the Pope gets it wrong of course is that people don’t choose their gender identity. It is chosen for them.

We transgender people have fought hard to stay within the confines of what was expected of us and made every effort to conform. The watershed moments came at differing stages of our lives depending on each set of circumstances where we could no longer continue living a lie. Therefore just like gay and lesbians who may have married to try and be “normal”, we did our best to fit in.

The church policy is “hate the sin but love the sinner” but there isn’t enough knowledge or intelligence on this issue within the walls of the Vatican to be able to speak authoritatively and therein rests the dilemma. I actually don’t think that there is deliberate malice but instead lack of solid information.

Transgender people don’t have an agenda to spread a different gospel but want not to be treated like Pariahs. In that sense there is no agenda other than to be allowed to be ministered to and accepted on their terms instead of being shoehorned into roles that don’t fit them.

Religions of the world seem stuck between whether being transgender is a choice or not and even then don’t seem to want people to act on it. But that’s easy for people who weren’t born that way to say. The church would presume to tell the gay man that its fine to be that way as long as you don’t "act on it"; this is clearly not acceptable policy as there are many loving and stable pairings of same sex couples.

Once again we are dealing with the ways of the world versus the will of God and I am betting on the latter having more predominance and wisdom than the former.


  1. I think that acceptance and understanding by the Church, as it has been with broader society as a whole comes in phases and steps. If you have a viewpoint that is not currently shared by the Church and you are waiting for a grand epiphany then you may be disappointed. If you look for small signs of acceptance and progress I think that you may find some solace.
    A year or so ago I was on business in Rochester and noticed that there was a Catholic Church that had an 'all welcome' mass on Thursday nights. I attended dressed in a white and brown shift dress, hose, flats, wig and makeup and I was fully accepted. While there I noted several gay and lesbian couples. In fact in the middle of Mass they had a Baptism with two women godparents who I surmised to be partners.

    5 years ago my youngest brother was ordained a Catholic Deacon. As part of his ordination vows he had to select a special mission. The mission he chose was to work to make the Church more accepting of LGBT worshipers. He was ordained out in California and has transferred to the east coast where he continues to serve the Church and to work on his special mission.

    Small steps open minds and hearts. Hitting people over the head with attitude may not produce the same results.


    1. I agree that change comes at the parochial level and not at the leadership. The reality is that LGBTQ people need to be ministered to and they cannot be ignored. That necessity requires being up close and personal which leads to eventual wider acceptance. Good point Pat...

  2. Aoife did a really nice post on this. She doesn't take comments on posts but she does in her "aoife personal" section. I left a comment there.

    1. thanks for the heads up Calie...will have a read...

  3. If it not a choice then how is it that you, like so many others have *chosen* NOT to transition?

  4. Transition is choice but being transgender is not. Welcome back AQV maybe if you play nice I may not have to delete all your posts. You won't have the same sort of platform you used to but I suspect you already knew that...


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