A Roman Catholic apostolate to support the dignity and inclusion of transgender laity.

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Fr. James Martin, SJ responds to the Bishops’ letter

In a facebook post Fr. James Martin said

“Dear friends: In my opinion (and I’m no expert here), what the church may need to do most with transgender people is this: Love them and listen to them. The church and the world are, in large part, still coming to know transgender people, and there is still much we don’t know about their experiences. For example, a few months ago, I posed a question to two separate psychologists, who have had experience working with transgender individuals. I said, “What do you think lies behind the increased incidence of transgenderism these days? Is it that it’s more publicly acceptable, or is the increased media attention, in a sense, pushing youth to identify as such?” They both said “I have no idea.” (And of course neither do I.) In other words, if even some psychologists aren’t sure about this highly complex phenomenon, then the church should be cautious about making statements without first listening to the experience of transgender people. So what can we do? First, have humility and admit that we still need to learn more about this phenomenon. Second, ask questions of transgender people: What is your experience? How have you suffered? Who is God for you? Finally, remember that the Holy Spirit is at work in these people who trying to find their way in the world. So love them. And listen to them.”

And provided a link to this New Ways Ministry Post


We at TransCatholic are greatly heartened to see this bridge building by Fr. James Martin to the transgender community. His statement opposing the Bishops’ letter shows humility and love that befits true Christians. This is one of the few times that you might actually want to read the comments. While there are some haters, there are many supportive comments from religious people and that feels really good.


NRLR Response to the “Created Male and Female” letter.

We approve of this response by the National Religious Leadership Roundtable to “Created Male and Female,” a letter from conservative religious leaders denying the reality of transgender lives.

And Yet…a testament to transgender persistence

New Ways Ministry Responds to Interfaith Statement Denying Transgender Experience

Many of you may be hurting from the terribly misinformed and reckless ‘letter’ signed by four of our Catholic Bishops. Please read this much more Christian response from NWM.

The following is a statement from Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director, New Ways Ministry: A negative statement on gender identity from 20 U.S. religious leaders shows the continued ignorance of gender awareness that exists among people who shape church teaching and policy. Four Catholic bishops who head committees for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops…

via New Ways Ministry Responds to Interfaith Statement Denying Transgender Experience — New Ways Ministry



2018 DATES: March 15, 2018 (Youth Day) & March 16-18, 2018
Theme: “Rise Up!
Held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California

Transgender in Our Schools: One Bread, One Body
Friday March 16th 1-2:30pm

Gender identity and transgender issues have become hot topics in politics and media, evoking challenging conversations for the Church and Catholic schools. How does the Gospel teach us to serve young Catholics on their journeys? How are we called to be loving in the midst of challenging theological questions? In this session, Dr. Arthur Fitzmaurice, with Fr. Bryan Massingale and panelists, will share experiences and offer theological reflections to inform a pastoral approach for students who question their gender identity.

Arthur Fitzmaurice, PhD Freelance speaker and minister Dr. Arthur Fitzmaurice has served a decade in ministry with LGBT Catholics. In addition to professional conferences, his appearances have included many regional and national conferences. Dr. Fitzmaurice also appears on several YouTube episodes produced by the Ignatian News Network. He is recipient of the Los Angeles Archdiocese’s Lumen Christi and the Cardinal’s Young Adult in Ministry awards.

Rev. Bryan Massingale, STD Fr. Bryan Massingale, a priest of the Milwaukee Archdiocese, is Professor of Theology at Fordham University in New York. He has lectured extensively on ethical and racial justice issues throughout the United States and internationally. A previous Religious Education Congress Keynoter, Fr. Massingale is a former President of the Catholic Theological Society of America and has been a leader of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium.

TransCatholic members will be included in the panel for the 3rd year in a row.

Let us know if you are going to be there.


RECongress is the largest annual gathering of its kind in the world. The four-day event is held at the Anaheim (Calif.) Convention Center and is sponsored by the Los Angeles Office of Religious Education. Begun in 1968 as an “institute” for religious education (CCD) teachers, RECongress has grown to include people of all vocations and different faiths.


Pope Francis Offers Support for Nun’s Ministry with Transgender Women

While many suggest that Pope Francis’ comments about Gender Theory make him anti-Trans his actions in supporting this ministry tell another story.

Bondings 2.0

Pope Francis has written a supportive note to a Catholic sister who works with transgender women.

calidad-de-vida-2083464w620 Sr. Monica Astorga, right, and Romina

Sr. Monica Astorga ministers to transgender women in Argentina, particularly those women who are in sex work or have substance abuse issues. Crux reported on her most recent interaction with Pope Francis, whom she has known for many years:

“Astorga wrote an email to Francis last Thursday, to update him on the new developments in the ministry she does in the southern Argentine province of Neuquen. It didn’t take long for her to hear back from the pope: She told Crux his answer came in the next day, on Friday.

“Astorga had written to the pope to inform him that the city had given her a plot of public land, where she planned to build 15 one-room homes for the transgender women she works with.

“‘I have you…

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See the #fireworks I created by blogging in My 2015 annual report.

Here it is the pathetically low numbers on my blog. But since I haven’t posted in a while I thought I should show that I am still alive with this review.

Source: See the #fireworks I created by blogging on #WordPressDotCom. My 2015 annual report.


The True LGBT Family of Jesus.

This is a copy of my remarks to the Interfaith Pride Service, organized by the Interfaith Coalition for Fairness of Maryland held at Grace United Methodist Church 5407 North Charles Street Baltimore MD 21212 on Tuesday, July 21, 2015. It was deeply honored to be asked and it was very well received by those assembled.

I’m here tonight representing the Catholic church to bring you a message of welcome and to embrace you as your authentic selves. And to do that you may need to forget everything you thought you knew about the catholic church and forgive the ways you have been personally hurt by catholics and open your heart to the largest organization dedicated to social justice in the world.

The mystery and conflict starts with the meaning of the words Roman Catholic Church. Roman because it is the last vestige of the roman empire and with that it has had the power to stand for 2 millennia but also shares the shame of oppression, patriarchy and violence. Catholic on the other hand means universal and it’s faith tradition is a history of growing from the margins and changing (slowly) as demanded by its people. And then you have to change what you think Church means. When catholics say church we are not talking about a building or the rules or the leaders. We mean the PEOPLE of faith. So let me represent the Ancient heritage of universal people of faith.

So as that I am a logical choice to be the representative. I’m not a nun, priest, or bishop but I am called by my baptism, my discernment, and my community to be a Queer Faith Leader. I am marginalized by my church hierarchy first as a woman, in a same-sex marriage, who is transgender. And from that margin I call my church to embrace people from all the margins. And the people of faith do. Recent polls found more support for same-sex marriage strongest in Catholics of all the mainline american religions. Polls show support for transgender equality highest among american catholics of all christian denominations. Yet the church hierarchy has been visible in their opposition to both central issues of dignity to LGBT people.

You may be by now justifiably confused, mystified, and conflicted by these revelations about the church and that is fantastic. This religion exists in mystery, in evolving revelations of ancient symbols and through individual conscience. Who better to call you into that spiritual question that is Catholicism than someone uniquly blessed by birth to understand incongruence, contrast, ambiguity, quandary, the conundrum of living life as a trans woman.
So let me give you the 2 minute mass with my remaining time to welcome you into this mystery. We look for inspiration to the readings for today and since we celebrate today Marriage Equality as the law of the land now it is miraculous to find that the gospel is

The True Family of Jesus.
MT 12:46-50
While Jesus was speaking to the crowds,
his mother and his brothers appeared outside,
wishing to speak with him.
Someone told him, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside,
asking to speak with you.”
But he said in reply to the one who told him,
“Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?”
And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said,
“Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father
is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

In my intentional eucharist community we would next have a shared homily where each of us would reflect on the meaning this passage had to our daily lives. We are short on time so let me tell you about our true queer family.

In 1992 I was in the early stages of what would become my transition. I belonged to a support group of transvestites, crossdressers, Drag Queens, Drag Kings, transexuals, and androgynes. In my first San Francisco Pride Parade, I walked with them the length of Market street to cheers of the crowd dressed for one of the first times in the daylight as a woman. Not in the flamboyant way pride parades are known for but more like your mother at the state fair with a visor, sunscreen, shorts, fanny pack and sensible shoes but also a little beard shadow. It was after the parade making my way home that I encountered a group of young gay men who i could overhear had read me as a transvestite and I stiffened myself for the hopefully only verbal assault on my dignity. One of them suddenly, throws up his arms running across the street and shouts “Mom! I didn’t think you were going to make it!”
In our warm and genuine embrace I felt the connection to all of us who had come together to celebrate living as our authentic selves. Back then it was just accepted as likely that coming out queer meant loosing your birth family. This young man used a bit of theater to not only diffuse a possibly painful confrontation but also to sum up what Pride day was really about then, affirmation of each other in the face of a society that rejected us. We built our own families of choice because love makes a family. Our own churches when we couldn’t imagine being accepted by mainstream institutions.
Much has changed in 20 years, Pride is now more about how mainstream organizations empower diversity. We gather to celebrate the advances of law, religion, and society. We express our commitment to each other and with our birth families, our religious traditions and our free society. But our journey is not over yet so let me close with a prayer:

Dear Creator,
You created balance.
The night to follow the day.
The sea to touch the earth.
All the wonderful animals, fish and birds.
You are the great creator of variety and diversity. 
Thank you that you made us all to be unique and reflect your love.
Come draw our family together in all it’s wonder and beauty.
Help us to love and respect each other.
Show us how to support and encourage one another.
Inspire us to work together to become a picture full of your perfect love.

for this may we be blessed,
Creator, Being and Holy Spirit

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