Though I have been following the news and had certainly been tracking a number of pieces of upsetting legislation, I was stunned to read a message from the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Side With Love campaign that at this time “there are approximately 150 anti-transgender bills moving through state legislatures across the country.”
I want to say to trans and non-binary readers that I love you, I am sorry, and I will work to combat these threats to your safety and well-being.
Whether restricting public bathroom access, preventing participation in sports, or criminalizing gender-affirming health care for young people, the consequences not only of the legislation but the rhetoric that accompanies it are too often deadly. We must speak out against and work to defeat such legislation and continue to find ways to affirm and celebrate trans lives as a community.
Click here to find a Side With Love conversation on combating anti-trans legislation. There are some additional efforts we can make as a community to ensure we are doing as much as we can to provide systems of support and affirm and celebrate trans lives in our community, including in our community of young people.
I want to encourage cis-gender members of the community, and especially Religious Education volunteers and people considering volunteering in the future, to take some time this month to visit the Transgender 101: Identity, Inclusion, and Resources page on the Unitarian Universalist Association’s website.
I’ll close with a hope-filled story about some young people in my life outside of the congregation. A child shared with their community that their pronouns were “they, them, and theirs.” The other children did not get agitated about using singular “they;” did not self-defeatingly declare that they would get it wrong most of the time and apologize in advance for their expected mistakes; and did not complain that the change would be difficult.
Instead, the kids immediately made every effort to get it right and be graciously corrected when they made a mistake, and they began to say to one another – when the child was not around – “let’s practice _____’s pronouns so we don’t mess them up.” They would talk to one another about the child using they/them/theirs with the intention of committing these pronouns to memory. What a good example to follow. Love is a practice, beloveds!