We are writing to let you know about a conversation unfolding in Unitarian Universalist circles around the country, and to extend an invitation to you to join the conversation this Sunday after worship.
This week, the Spring issue of UU World, the magazine of the Unitarian Universalist Association, arrived in mailboxes and inboxes. In that magazine, there was an article written by a cisgender* woman about trans issues called "After L, G, and B" (page 30). While this article was informative for some people, this article also caused great harm to many trans folks. Read this message, and then the readings linked to below, if you want to know more about what harm was caused.
In essence, this article fell into a pattern of centering the voices of cisgender individuals in discussions of trans people. The day the magazine was delivered, the trans person quoted in this article, Alex Kapitan, revealed that ze had asked the writer of the article and editor of UU World to not publish this article because of the harm it would cause.
This past week, conversations have unfolded over social media around why this article is harmful, how this article came to be, and what we might do to move forward in a restorative way. The editor of UU World has issued an apology, and many Unitarian Universalists have responded publicly to this article, all of which is linked to below.
We encourage each of you to read the original article, and the responses from trans folx linked to below. After that, we hope you will read the response from TRUUsT (Transgender Religious professional Unitarian Universalists Together). TRUUsT's response includes a newly published report on the experience trans folx in Unitarian Universalist congregations, as well as action steps all of us can take to become better allies to trans folx.
After worship on Sunday, the LGBTQIA+ meeting already planned for this Sunday will be an open space for conversation about this article and responses to it, what that brought up for people in our community, and how we can move forward. Rev. Bethany has offered to hold space for this conversation, and all are invited to attend. If you are trans and choose to attend, you will have an opportunity to share your response to this article, if you wish. We will meet in the Holland Sanctuary at 12:15 PM. There will be a brief timeline of events for those who attend, but please do the reading encouraged in the paragraph above before you come.
We look forward to our conversation, and to the work we will engage in to become better allied with our trans siblings.
Rev. Bethany, in collaboration with Jamili, Mary, and the LGBTQIA+ Group Leadership (Jerry Cuffe, Eve Hady, Bob Lane, and Stephanie Parker)
*cisgender is a word indicating that a person's gender corresponds with their gender assigned at birth