You Are Loved! (Sermon for Transgender Remembrance Day)

May the words of my mouth dwell in the soul of your heart.

YOU ARE LOVED!!

Let me repeat that. . . .

YOU ARE LOVED!!!

This week marks the sixth anniversary of the Transgender Day of Remembrance Candle Light Vigil in Columbus. All over the world people are remembering Rita Hester, whose murder in California initiated the ‘Remembering Our Dead’ project. Annually, a full week of activities are held to educate transgender and non-transgender alike, and to memorialize transgenders who have suffered and even died for their gender identity.

The great storyteller, Clarissa Pinkola Estes once said, “great truths and stories must begin with ‘once upon a time’ or ‘in the beginning’.” So we begin:

    In the beginning, God took the great DNA molecule, perhaps her greatest creation, and tinkered with it to separate us from the bull frog, and then tinkered with it a bit more to distinguish us from each another, and then, for reasons known only God, tinkered with it to make some of us heterosexual, others of us homosexual, still others of us transgender, and a few of us androgynous.

Transgender’ is an umbrella term used to describe a full range of individuals who have a conflict or question about gender identity. This includes everyone from transsexuals who wish to have surgery, those who have no desire for surgery, post-operative transsexuals, male and female transvestites, drag queens, male and female impersonators, gender benders and people experiencing gender confusion but don’t know exactly where they fall along the gender continuum.

We must remember that gender is not only physical appearance; it’s also about behavior, thought, attitude. Trying to fit into the societal ‘norm’ (whatever that is), we limit our own lives – psychologically, physically, mentally and spiritually.

If we do not act on our full potential, we are not a whole person. We each have the capacity to live at various places along the gender continuum in our everyday lives. When we are true to our God-given gender identity, we are living a more authentic life,

    a life of integrity

    a more deeply spiritual life.

All people, each and every one of us, are blessed by God. However you understand yourself – straight, gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, androgynous – you are full of grace and love. God excludes no one; we are all children of God.

Society, with its often imperfect and myopic views, tells us we are not ‘okay’. We are beaten down by vitriolic sermons dressed in Christian rhetoric . . . and by hate disguised as ‘Christian values’. The recent election only further confirms that not everything done in the name of Christ is based on the Christian principle of ‘love thy neighbor as thyself’.

AND WE ARE ANGRY!

If we are not angry, we are either dead or dying! (or have been living under a rock!)

But within our anger is a gift and blessing. Like all blessings from God, anger can be a source of transformation. Anger carries us beyond the sense of POWERLESSNESS toward realization of our STRENGTH OF SPIRIT.

Our spirit lifts us above the violence against us,

lifts us to commit ourselves every day,

to recommit ourselves and our GLBT brothers and sisters to work for

    justice,

    compassion and

    reconciliation!!

And we have God. . .

    a loving and caring God. . .
    a ‘no child left behind’ God on our side.

God has not given us a weak spirits!

2 Timothy 4:17-18 calls us to be out. . .

to STAND UP, STAND OUT, STAND PROUD!

To proclaim the truth of who we are,

people who bring the hand of God,

the presence of God to the world.

People to whom God is very close and about whom God cares deeply.

Isaiah warns us:

“Beware, people will try to beat the truth out of you, rob you of your inherent given status as children of God, threaten you, disenfranchise you”.

But Jesus said:

    “DO NOT BE AFRAID!

God knows everything about us and watches over us, as a loving Mother does a wanted child. Can a mother forget her child?”

Isaiah heard God say

“Neither will I forget you”. (Isaiah 49:15-16)

We need to proclaim aloud what we know in our hearts – God not only loves us, but made us who we are.

A favorite children’s saying of mine is:

    GOD DIDN’T MAKE NO JUNK!!!!!!!

STAND UP! STAND PROUD!

In Matthew 8:16, Jesus warns:

Whosoever shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

In loving one another as ourselves we are called to journey with each other to fulfill our call and perfection in God’s Love.

As transgender people, you should smile and nod in agreement when you hear these words:

This is my beloved child in whom I am well pleased. (Matthew 3:17)

YOU ARE LOVED!!!!!!
 
 
Delivered Transgender Remembrance Candlelight Vigil, Columbus OH, 17 November 2004

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