Statement on Transgender Discrimination

August 11, 2017

The following is a statement from the Rev. Alex Dyer, Priest in Charge of St. Thomas’ Parish, Dupont Circle in Washington, DC

Over the past few weeks, Transgender Americans have been targeted yet again. Between the state legislature in Texas and our President’s tweet on banning them from the military, Americans who identify as transgender are being discriminated against. False stereotypes, fear, and ignorance are dominating a great deal of the discussion. Religion is being used in subtle ways to promote this discrimination. Unfortunately, these tactics are all too common. People in my congregation have been victims of these tactics.

As the spiritual leader of St. Thomas’ Parish, I stand with this congregation to fight for the rights of all people. I support people transgender individuals not simply because it is the politically correct thing to do. Support for transgender people is not because I know people who are transgender and have listened to their stories.

My support of people who are transgender is grounded in my understanding of who God is and how God acts, in other words, my theology. I believe in a God who does not see people as we see people. In the calling of David, God speaks through Samuel and urges people not to look at outward appearance, but rather to look at the heart of people. For far too long, we have used gender, and other outward appearances, to divide and even dominate people.

If the God you believe in does not accept transgender people, then perhaps your God is too small. Jesus does not see gender or labels, rather Christ sees a face and a person. As a follower of Jesus, I am called to do the same in everyone whom I meet.

I appeal to all religious people to not be silent on this issue, and work together to build a world where we can see as God sees.  The world we live in is not the world that God intended for us. We are called to make God’s dream a reality for all of God’s people. The people of St. Thomas’ Parish stand with all transgender people and we invite you to join us.

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