Not everyone’s understanding of their gender identity lines up
with the label they were given when they were born. This is OK. No one
is hurt by this. For transgender, non-binary, and gender expansive
people to ask to live their lives in dignity and safety is to ask no
more than anyone else asks. The pundits, preachers, and politicians
pushing the tidal wave of legislation making life miserable for gender
nonconforming adults, young people, and their families are deeply wrong
and the legislation they are pushing must be stopped and struck down.
Lives are in the balance.
A few cherry-picked Bible verses must not be allowed to outweigh the
bright thread woven throughout the Bible that we must love and care for
each other, particularly the vulnerable and abused. As a Christian and a
seminary student, it is that bright thread that informs all that I hope
to do. I have worked with young people for many years in church, sports,
and scouting settings. Several times, I have been the first adult that a
young person has talked to about their identity; one of them was my own
child. I can still hear the tremor in their voices and the deep breath
they took before hearing themselves say words they had clearly practiced
in their heads a hundred times but could not be sure would not end up
bringing them harm. I wish I were as brave as those young people.
My response was to assure them that they were safe and to ask them what
they need. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. Too many LGBTQ
youth experience discrimination and abuse, even from their own families.
Rates of attempted suicide are higher for LGBTQ youth than their
non-minority peers and climb even higher when they abused and
All any of us want is to be left alone to be who we are. LGBTQ people,
young or old, just want the same thing. Contrary to some fears and
fantasies, queer kids are not just falling prey to TikTok fads, trans
and nonbinary kids are not faking their way into girls’ bathrooms or
cheating at track meets, and advocates for LGBTQ acceptance are not
recruiting anyone to anything. We need to raise our voices in opposition
to those trying to erase our precious LGBTQ siblings.