There have been at least 22 deaths of transgender and gender nonconforming people this year, most of whom have been Black transgender women. My heart is heavy with the knowledge that so many trans lives have been taken from their loved ones and this world. We mark Transgender Day of Remembrance each year so that we may bear witness to the appalling transphobic violence enacted against the transgender community, and in particular, upon Black transgender women.

We who are cisgender must recognize our responsibility to address anti-trans bias and make our communities more welcoming. Perhaps our most important role is to be accomplices to our trans siblings. As Brittany Packnett shared at the 2018 UUA General Assembly, allies can be self-congratulating and unreliable, while accomplices are in it for the long term. The Unitarian Universalist organization TRUUsT (Transgender Religious professional Unitarian Universalists Together) suggests many effective actions cis people can take to support trans people, from funding small survival grants to enhancing understanding and inclusion in our communities.

Unitarian Universalists are called to faithfully embody inclusive communities where all may find solace, solidarity, and safety. In our congregations and spiritual gatherings, we strive to offer transgender people and others of non-cisgender identities —and people of all identities and backgrounds—a place to find deep connection and spiritual growth. The UUA’s Five Practices of Welcome Renewal offers faith-centered ways to weave LGBTQ+ welcome into the spiritual life of all congregations, no matter their size or geographic location.

Despite experiencing disproportionate rates of violence, transgender people and others of non-cisgender identities are resilient, vibrant, and building a movement for true equity. It is hopeful and so inspiring to see this work in action. Consider supporting organizations like the Trans Justice Funding Project, a community-led funding initiative to support grassroots, trans justice groups run by and for trans people. Or the #BlackTransPrayerBook, an interfaith, multi-dimensional, artistic and theological work that collects the stories, poems, prayers, meditation, spells, and incantations of Black transgender and gender nonconforming contributors. Establish or deepen your congregation’s connections with transgender leaders in your own community and you’ll find many other movement building opportunities.

My prayer on this Transgender Day of Remembrance is for the senseless acts of transantagonistic violence to end. As a faith grounded in a love that is abundant, freely given, and available to all, I pray for courageous, bold action by cisgender Unitarian Universalists to grow understanding and inclusion in our communities. May our words and deeds serve to build up spaces where transgender people and others of non-cisgender identities feel celebrated and nourished, spaces where they take on the leadership that will nourish this faith for generations to come.
Yours in faith,

Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray
UUA President
2019 Transgender Day of Remembrance Prayer
TDOR 2019 Prayer
by Mr. Barb Greve

This is a prayer for the lost ones,
Those taken from us too soon.
And too many.

The truth be told,
one would be too many!
One life taken is one too many to be dead.

This is a prayer for those whose lives were taken in violence,
For who they were
And how they loved.

This is a prayer for their families,
who will never know all of who they were to become,
Nor never again feel their warm embrace.
Remembering the Lives
Watch 2019 TDOR Video HERE
Supporting Trans Lives
Support #BlackTransPrayerBook

What does it mean to have a faith practice that simultaneously challenges white supremacy and transphobia? Where is there a theological framework that centers the most marginalized and creates pathways towards an active spirituality moving alongside social justice? How might a spiritual practice not in tune with these questions cause harm? The #BlackTransPrayerBook, is holding these very questions.

The #BlackTransPrayerBook is an interfaith, multi-dimensional, artistic and theological work that collects the stories, poems, prayers, meditation, spells, and incantations of Black TGNC contributors.

Please join in funding this incredible work and the divine process that centers Black Trans People and celebrates their history and contributions to communities of faith.
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
Join us in congratulating five trans ministers called to settled ministry in 2109 for relentlessly shattering binaries and believing in Unitarian Universalism enough to trust this faith with their truths, gifts, and callings. May each of them continue to find space in Unitarian Universalism to be true to themselves and true to their callings.

I charge the UU community at-large to uplift these ministers with blessings, prayers, praise, and gifts as they journey to new cities to make new homes.
Learn more about these fabulous ministers HERE.

Being Accountable to Trans Lives
Voices of the Trans Community and Other UUs Respond to a Harmful UUWorld Article

Earlier this year the UU World  magazine published an unfortunate and damaging article about the trans community written by a cis woman which exemplified many of the harmful experiences repeatedly faced by transgender and nonbinary individuals.

With great generosity, many trans UUs took the time to respond to the harmful aspects of this article in eloquent detail. You can read many of these responses to the article, as well as the apologies by UU World here.

Our Story Hurt People: UU World's Acknowledgment of Harm
Support UUA LGBTQ+ Ministries

Each of us has worth and dignity, and that worth includes our gender and our sexuality.

As Unitarian Universalists we not only open our doors to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, we value diversity of sexuality and gender and see it as a spiritual gift.

Your support helps keep our LGBTQ Justice and Public Witness work active and vibrant, as well as deepening our Welcoming Congregations program.

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