ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton
On this Transgender Day of Visibility, millions celebrate the many contributions of transgender people and raise awareness about the injustices they face. This year we have seen trans and nonbinary people targeted at unprecedented levels. We have seen almost 400 bills introduced across the nation that aim to dehumanize the LGBTQIA+ community, especially our transgender and nonbinary siblings. Our church holds various convictions regarding gender and gender identity, but God teaches us to honor every person’s dignity. We affirm that transgender and nonbinary siblings are children of God, created in God’s image, who are embraced in God’s unconditional love. The Great Commandment is that we love the Lord our God with all with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our strength, and with all our mind and love our neighbor as ourself. A man asked Jesus, and who is my neighbor?” Then Jesus flipped the question in his parable of the Good Samaritan. Instead of narrowly defining neighbor Jesus asked who acted as a neighbor. It is through this lens that we see the vulnerable and marginalized including our transgender and nonbinary neighbors. Let us stand together, dear church, advocating for the full humanity and dignity of all people. On this day of visibility and all year round let us recognize and affirm the humanity of our transgender and nonbinary siblings. Let us continue to be guided by God’s love and compassion as we seek justice and equality for everyone.