On Transgender Day of Visibility approximately 6,000 nuns from several Catholic organizations wrote a letter “wholeheartedly” affirming the Church’s embrace of trans and nonbinary people.
Approximately, 27 organizations signed onto the letter, which says: “As members of the body of Christ, we cannot be whole without the full inclusion of transgender, nonbinary, and gender-expansive individuals.”
The nuns wrote the statement in reflection of the “harm and erasure” trans and nonbinary people are experiencing at the hands of anti-LGBTQ legislation, hateful rhetoric, and daily violence. They use these acknowledgements to showcase that action must serve beyond the day’s annual observance.
At this time, over 13 states have banned trans healthcare for youth under 18-years-old with 19 states considering similar healthcare bans, according to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). Many of these bills have been written by Christian nationalist organizations, including The Heritage Foundation, the Alliance Defending Freedom and others.
Nevertheless, this letter was written with an unmediated understanding of the reality for LGBTQ youth.
In a statement to PinkNews, the Sisters of Saint Joseph Federation – a dynamic union of all the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the United States – said the letter was written with the realization that “there was very little published in terms of Catholic support for trans and nonbinary folks.”
Thousands of Catholic nuns unite to ‘wholeheartedly’ declare trans people are beloved by God https://t.co/y6nF2b90Lv
— PinkNews (@PinkNews) April 6, 2023
“The Gospel call of unifying love compels us to actively interrupt harmful interactions in daily life and dismantle the systems that reinforce this rhetoric and violence in society, particularly for Black, Indigenous, and other folks of color,” the letter continues.
Moreover, GLAAD Media Institute Vice President and Lutheran Deacon Ross Murray believes that this is the action that continues to be needed from members and leaders from the Catholic Church. He is aware that while many Catholic people love and support their LGBTQ friends and family, the hierarchy of the church has traditionally opposed LGBTQ equality.
“LGBTQ kids throughout the country need to hear a word of unconditional love and acceptance from faith leaders,” said Murray. “This letter is one small word of affirmation at a time when LGBTQ youth are under attack on all sides. Let this letter serve as a moral guide to the rest of us to stand up for and protect LGBTQ youth.”
In February GLAAD reported on Pope Francis’ declaration stating that LGBTQ criminalization laws are “unjust” and that “being homosexual is not a crime.” However, Pope Francis did not include words of acceptance, visibility and action for trans, nonbinary and gender diverse people in his assertion. This letter extends that support.
— GLAAD (@glaad) January 25, 2023
“We will remain oppressors until we — as vowed Catholic religious — acknowledge the existence of LGBTQ+ people in our own congregations. We seek to cultivate a faith community where all, especially our transgender, nonbinary, and gender-expansive siblings, experience a deep belonging.”
The letter concludes, “May we act to transform our hearts, our church, our politics, and our country to ensure that the dignity of our trans, nonbinary, and gender-expansive siblings are acknowledged, boldly accepted, and celebrated.”