The news coming of acceptance of trans people from the General Synod of Church of England has for me being like a hole filled in my life coming from a C of E background. But that hasn’t been the only good news coming through. Earlier this week, it was announced by Justine Greening, the Equalities minister, that trans and non-binary people will be able to self-identify their own gender, instead of having to go through the laborious process of getting the required medical evidence.
Then on Wednesday, President Trump decided to announce that Trans people would not be able serve in the US Military in any capacity. I asked a friend of mine over in the States to help explain the history of it,
“Obama had implemented the same thing in 2008, when the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy was still in place. However, not once did that administration say that transgender people were a distraction and a financial burden. I think that they had implemented the policy solely based on keeping political relations civil, since Barack Obama was brand new in office and facing a heavy amount of scrutiny. Trump, on the other hand, is doing it purely out of discrimination. Transgender troops have been in the military for as long as history goes on. We just recently started allowing them to transition while in the military. Apparently, that cost is just far too great (though it really only takes up 0.01% or less of the total military budget). There has never been any kind of distraction noted simply because of someone who is transgender. If the officers, and commanders can't get past the fact that they have trans subordinates, then that's their problem. It's not a distraction or financial problem. If they can't keep to their assignments like they vowed to, they should be deemed dishonourable and discharged because they are putting our country at risk on a larger scale.”
It is certainly a scary time to be transgender in America, and my thoughts and prayers go to all our sisters, brothers and siblings over there.
This is the Hope and Light blog, so I’m going to leave you with a bit of hope from Reverend Chris Newslands of Blackburn, who said the following as he opened his motion at the General Synod:
"I hope that we can make a powerful statement to say that we believe that trans people are cherished and loved by God, who created them, and is present through all the twists and turns of their lives."