Greetings Beloved!

November 12th - 19th is Transgender Awareness Week, culminating in Transgender Day of Remember on Tuesday, November 20th. During this sacred days, join us as we UPLIFT the experiences of the trans community within Unitarian Universalism and beyond.

It has been a challenging year for our beloved trans and gender diverse community, as our reckless government has been relentless in keeping these sacred lives at the forefront of its political scheming. As a nonbinary person, it sometimes feels as though I will always be fighting just to exist, but I’ve found strength in the work I see my colleagues doing. You can read about a lot of that work in this newsletter.

We hope you will explore and be inspired by the many stories and resources contained in this special edition UPLIFT commemorating Transgender Awareness Week 2018. May the following the voices, heartbreaks, and celebrations of our dear transgender, genderqueer, and non-binary touch your heart and move you to radical Welcome and action:

  • A prayer for strength and perseverance by trans minister Rev. Theresa Soto
  • Additional prayers for Trans Justice by Transforming Hearts Collective
  • A personal story by Andrea Delilah Ramirez about her faith journey as a trans woman of color in St. Croix
  • TRUUsT (Trans Religious Professional UUs Together) posts a call-to-action for all Unitarian Universalists who want to support the trans community
  • Janice Marie Johnson’s charge to new minister Dawn Fortune
  • Unitarian Universalist responses to governmental discrimination

As Trans Day of Remembrance is Tuesday, November 20th, we are once again are saddened to reflect on the hateful acts of violence that have taken precious trans lives too soon. You may read the list of the 22 individuals lost in 2018 in this email, courtesy of the Human Rights Campaign. May we remember those who have been lost, many of whom were trans women of color. May we use this fire within to continue to do the challenging and necessary work to make the world a safe place for all trans lives.

If you are cis, may you witness and carry the many joys and concerns of those in the trans community this Trans Awareness Week and always. May you use the resources you have to continue to uplift trans individuals whenever and wherever you are able.

If you are trans, nonbinary, or otherwise gender diverse, may you know that you are perfect, you are seen, and you are loved.

May it be so,
Jade Sylvan
UUA LGBTQ+ Ministries Intern
Rev. Michael J. Crumpler
LGBTQ & Intercultural Programs Manager
Multicultural Growth and Witness
Trans Day of Remembrance
Prayers of Trans Justice

Rev. Theresa Soto

We come to you with words of grief,
but also, silent rage. We know that You
have made us and called us:

We are trans. And we are holy.
We are intersex. And we are sacred.
We are gender-diverse. And we are divine.

We know that Justice is
always on the side of the
Oppressed. Stay on our side now,
Creator. Call your people
to this place. Remind them
that Love is
more than saying.
Love is being and doing.
Transforming Hearts Collective

We who believe in freedom will not rest until it comes. We pray for the dawn of a new day when the very humanity of trans people is no longer called into question or ignored. We pray that physical, emotional, and spiritual violence will come to an end. We pray that a spirit of compassion and care will fill us to overflowing, that we may have the capacity to listen, learn, and grow not only in our awareness but also in our willingness to act. We pray for teachers, spiritual leaders, social workers, lawyers, and all people who heed the call to support trans liberation, trans leadership, and trans visibility. May they ultimately lean into the Light of truth and justice, offering hope to Trans and gender nonconforming youth and adults.
Living Trans Pride & Faith in St. Croix
"This is Me. This is the heart of Pride and Faith, and all that is St. Croix Pride. Being who we are, without fear and without shame.

Singing and being apart of the Pride and Faith celebration takes me back to age 13, when I was in choir, singing praise and worship music. It took me back to the place when I was hiding, when I felt ashamed of who I was. Except, today I am not ashamed. Rev. Qiyamah and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of St. Croix helped me to look at church anew, friendly to the entire LGBTQ community, but especially to me as a proud and faithful trans woman of color."

Andrea Delilah Ramirez from 'Living Trans Pride & Faith in St. Croix'
Supporting Trans Lives
TRUUsT Calls on All Unitarian Universalists to Take Action to Support Trans UUs

In the wake of recent events and the Trump administration’s continued assault on trans lives, TRUUsT calls on Unitarian Universalists everywhere to take immediate action to live out the above truths and directly support trans UUs. Unitarian Universalism’s commitment to trans lives is all too often aspirational rather than true today. According to a recent survey, only 28% of trans UUs feel that their congregation is fully inclusive of them as trans people. We need this to change, because trans lives are at stake. Take action now.

Transforming Hearts Collective

We support spaces for LGBTQ people to access resilience, healing, and spirituality, and we resource faith communities and other groups for the work of radical inclusion and culture shift. We are queer,
transgender, non-binary, and cisgender people of many races, classes, abilities, spiritualities, and ages. We are change agents rooted in a vision and goal of liberation for all. We move the margins to the center, we lead with love, and we transform hearts, not just minds. If your faith community is serious about welcome and culture shift, we are serious about helping. Learn more.
Trans Lifeline

Since our founding, Trans Lifeline’s services have grown to match growing need from our community. Our Hotline has evolved from an entirely volunteer-run operation into a comprehensive resource that employs trans people working as paid operators and team leads. Our operators have logged thousands of hours of talk time with trans people in our community, and, with new volunteers signing up all the time, our capacity is only growing. Read more.

Supporting Trans Ministers
Embrace the Grace of Being Loved: A Charge to the Minister
Editor's Note: This is an excerpt of the charge that was offered by Dr. Janice Marie Johnson, UUA Multicultural Ministries and Leadership Director, for the installation of Reverend Dawn Fortune on Saturday, September 29, 2018 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the South Jersey Shore, NJ.

Look around this sanctuary.
Feel the love. It is palpable. It is real—and it is yours. Embrace the grace of being loved for all that is you. For all that is your life.

I charge you, Dawn Fortune, never to forget that are worthy of love. Break open your heart and accept what this deep, abiding love can mean.

You extend kindness first—without expectation. I charge you to expect kindness in return. In so doing, invite help from others who want nothing more than to experience the joy of helping you.

I charge you always to act in your own authority as you embrace change with a sense of calm plus comfort, of safety plus bravery.

I charge you to ever lead with that integrity, knowing that we will follow. Read more.
Rev. Manish Mishra-Marzetti offers charge to Rev. Terry Cummings
Policy Celebrations and Concerns
Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray’s response to Trump Administration considering narrowly defining gender: Our Unitarian Universalist faith affirms that no person’s identity is dictated by laws and legislation. In accordance with our First Principle, transgender, genderqueer, non-binary, and ALL persons possess inherent worth and dignity, which includes the right to define who we are. The Trump Administration’s attempt to erase trans identity is an attack on our Beloved Community as a whole and is the latest in a series of human rights violations that feed cruelty and threaten the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Read more.
YES!! Massachusetts says a big YES on 3!!!!

While we celebrate this victory, we envision a country where no one’s right to live is put up to a public vote. Yes on 3 was an important win, and we vow to channel that positive energy to continue to fight for the rights of people of all genders to live their truest and fullest lives. We believe in a world in which all genders are celebrated openly, and where no one is forced to align themselves with an identity that is not their own. We will continue to work until this vision is reality. Read more.
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