Further Resources Following UU World Article on Trans and Gender Nonconforming UUs

Rev. Jennifer Kelleher returned to UUCWC, her home congregation, as the guest preacher on March 17.  Her sermon reflected on the UU World’s March issue which contained an article deeply hurtful and distressing to our trans and gender non conforming UU family.  As part of this, Rev. Jennifer referenced additional resources from the UUA Central East Region, available on her public Facebook page; these can be found at this link.

They are also listed here:

Dear congregational leaders,

If you are on Facebook, you may be aware that the UU World’s March issue held an article whose content and process has been named as hurtful and harmful by trans UUs, especially trans religious professionals. We already know that our faith as a whole is not yet as welcoming and inclusive of trans people as we aspire to be. So, this hurt comes on top of many ways many trans UUs have already been hurt and felt excluded.

Since the UU World comes to your members, it’s important for you to be aware of this impact. Many UU World subscribers have only read the paper copy of the magazine and might have no idea of the impact until the next issue. For example, some people may be unaware that in several situations the author asks questions generally experienced as inappropriate without explaining why the questions are inappropriate. This has led to some situations where UUs are asking those questions of trans UUs feeling like they have new permission to do so.

This email is a summary of resources produced in the last week to help you as a leader.

These links start with links to understand what happened, unpack the impact, and talk about this with your members and friends. At the end there are some links to find religious professionals to consult with your congregation to go even deeper.

We expect the next UU World issue and subsequent issues to invite your members into even deeper conversations.

Thanks for your attention to this important matter,
Rev. Megan Foley (she/her) | Regional Lead
Congregational Life Staff | Central East Region

UU World editor Chris Walton’s apology and link to the original article. https://www.uuworld.org/articles/apology-spring-2019

UUA President Susan Frederick Gray’s apology https://www.uua.org/…/president-susan-frederick-gray-apolog…

Transgender Religious professional Unitarian Universalists Together (TRUUsT) published a response. Earlier this year they also published a report on the experiences of Trans Unitarian Universalists https://transuu.org/2019/03/06/putting-the-t-first/

Zr. Alex Kapitan explains how the article came to be.

Rev. Theresa Inés Soto’s writing this week addressed “trans*, non-binary, genderqueer
and gender-expansive friends and kin.” This is worth passing along to youth, young adults, and adults!

CB Beal explained, in detail, the issues with article in Medium. CB is a religious educator, sexuality educator, and justice consultant who works on inclusion through their lens of “pre-emptive radical inclusion” They will be the keynote speaker at our Seaway Gathering in Ithaca NY on May 3-4. https://medium.com/…/centering-the-marginalized-symphony-an…

Evin Carvill Ziemer, CER staff member, explores why not all trans UU’s are reacting the same way. It’s entirely possible the trans UU’s at your congregation are not reacting strongly, and yet, there’s still important learning for your congregation and members. https://www.uua.org/…/b…/better-together/one-trans-uus-story

The UUA’s Commission on Institutional on Change posted a blog analyzing the way this is an example of systemic oppression. https://www.uua.org/…/blog/how-do-we-respond-systemic-oppre…

Zr. Alex Kapitan also writes on radicalcopywriter.com including on current guidance on writing about transgender people https://radicalcopyeditor.com/…/08/31/transgender-style-gu…/

Transforming Hearts Collective published a piece to help cisgender UUs understand how to support people impacted by this article when they talk about it with other cisgender people.

Rev. Mykal O’Neal Slack who serves on the Black Lives of UU Organizing Collective Board posted a reflection.

Consulting resources:

Zr. Alex Kapitan, Rev. Mykal O’Neal Slack, Teo Drake, and LeLaina Romero, PhD make up the Transforming Hearts Collective who represent “a vision of a world in which queer and trans people can show up fully as ourselves in all of the places we call home” offering consultation and online courses.

TRUUsT maintains a service directory of religious professionals who are trans and/or people of color who you can hire for leading worship, consulting, and much, much more. https://transuu.org/…/truust-announces-new-service-directo…/

CB Beal’s website as a consultant and educator. They go by “CB” and “they” in UU spaces, but also consult in a wide range of other institutions. https://justiceandpeaceconsulting.com