Two trans resolutions clear committee

“By adding gender expression we are saying who is called in,” Deputy Ellen Tilotson said minutes before the Committee on Ministry voted to send two measures protecting transgender Episcopalians from discrimination on to the next stage of deliberation at the General Convention. The vote came after a hearing marked by transgender Episcopalians presenting powerful testimony on the need for resolutions D002 and D019 to pass.  Only one person spoke against the measures. 

The Rev. Edwin Johnson spoke eloquently to the need for naming people from the margins we are to welcome them into our church and the body of Christ. Deacon Vicki Gray testified in support of both measures, telling the committee of her own journey from male to female and lay to ordained leader of our church. Massachusetts Bishop Tom Shaw pointed to the growing acceptance of trans people as a factor in the continued growth of his diocese. For all the talk of a need for structural change, the hearing process worked today and worked beautifully, allowing people to tell their stories and place a human face on an issue which many find unsettling. “Thank you for sharing your story,” one audience member told a trans woman who testified. “Before you spoke I didn’t understand but now I do.”

The two resolutions now move on to the House of Bishops where during the last General Convention language mentioning trans people was replaced by the word “all.”