Many transgender people in El Salvador are living in fear of murder. According to the article below, three transgender people were killed this past February. There is speculation that these killings have come as a result of the country’s Roman Catholic Church that does not believe in the legitimacy of the LGBTQ community.
We think that it is absolutely awful that Salvadorans are living in fear. In order for Salvadorans to make progress towards LGBTQ equality, we believe that they need to separate the idea of gender identity and sexual orientation from the Church. Regardless of religious beliefs, we are all humans at the end of the day.
As today’s society continues to progress in terms of understanding and accepting those of the LGBTQ community, it is safe to say that there are still a number of steps to be taken until equality is reached. Among the many groups that remain passionate in their arguments against transgender people is the Christian Church, which preaches that such individuals have a psychological disorder and should be either changed or rejected. As a group, we feel that these ideals are not only wrong but also unjust. Just as religion is a freedom in America, gender identity should be one within that as well.
Not all Christians, however, are in agreement with such values. There are even a number of transgender people who themselves identify as Christian. Caitlyn Jenner, a well known television personality who recently transitioned from male to female, is both a follower of the Christian religion as well as a frequent church goer.
In his online blogging site, John Pavlovitz uses Christianity as a prominent theme in his posts. As a heterosexual Christian male, he argues against members of the Church who oppose transgender people. The writer addresses that the Bible does not at all mention gender identity, and that those who refuse to be accepting are essentially going against the real, underlying focus of the religion, which is love, acceptance, and kindness.
We believe that no one should feel unsafe entering any religious temple or church at all, let alone one of their one religion. Religion and the members of the community should be there in times of struggle and difficulty. People who do not identify with their biological sex should be able to find comfort in the arms of their religious peers, leaders, and God. It is a shame that many are unable to distinguish between the difference of “sex” and “gender,” and that they use the Bible as an excuse to openly shame people who are just trying to be themselves.
Hopefully time will allow for the Christian Church, and all religions for that matter, to participate in equality of all people, gender, etc. In the meantime, it is important that people such as Caitlyn Jenner and John Pavlovitz continue to speak their truths and impact the lives of others.
The article attached talks about a transgender man named Diego Neria Lejárraga who had been denied access to his local church in Spain after his transition. After leaving a letter for Pope Francis describing the situation, Pope Francis welcomed him by meeting with him and his fiancée. Although Pope Francis has had mixed views regarding gender identity in the past, we believe that the Pope has come to recognize the importance of this issue and is taking the steps to bring equality for all identities in the Catholic church. We are hopeful that churches will see the Pope’s actions as an example, and that they will be more accepting in the future.