Looking to build your own understanding around issues of gender and transgender experience and inclusion? Hoping to engage your faith community in deeper work toward including children and youth of diverse gender experiences? Here are 3 steps and a few resources to help you build a foundation. Use them for your own education or bring a group together to study and learn:
1. Do your own homework.
Do you know the difference between sexuality and gender? How about the difference between social and medical transitions? How comfortable are you using non-binary pronouns? What are some of the biggest risks and issues faced by the transgender communities, particularly trans women of color? These are excellent questions to start thinking about as you do your own homework. Take some time exploring some of the resources below on your own.
2. Build capacity as a community.
It is important that any community wishing to dive deeper into supporting transgender and gender-noncomforming children, youth, and their families has a foundational knowledge of gender and gender privilege and oppression. Consider having your community participate in or hold an Our Whole Lives class for young adults, adults, or elders. Hold the trans 101 training as a part of your Welcoming Congregation program. Host a screening of the Gender Revolution documentary or one of the webinars. Start a reading group to work through some of the books below.
While it is important to learn it is not an end in itself. Once you have some of the basics, ACT! For instance begin forming partnerships in the wider community with trans youth serving agencies or take your community's learning to the next level by applying to be a beta site for the Gender-Just Faith solidarity training.
These are resources which provide you the opportunity to hear the stories and reflections of youth who identify as transgender, gender creative, non-binary, and other gender diverse identities.
Resources to read and watch
Training and curricula
There are a number of "trans 101" training resources created by different organizations your congregation may choose to use. These are just a few:
Bibliographies and book reviews
Tthe Gender Just Faith Community blog includes a number of posts with annotated bibliographies and book reviews for further learning.
Intersectional Justice Resources
Becoming a gender just community of faith is an intersectional act. Below are some resources related to other linked areas of creating Beloved Community: