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Transgender Day of Remembrance, November 20

By Rev Megan More, Clergy on Staff, MCC/UCC in the Valley and First UCC SL

TRANSGENDER-DAY-OF-REMEMBRANCE-largeI realize this in only the second half of August, but I wanted to put the word out early, both to all who read this column, but also to all UCC church pastors and leaders to mark their own calendars for November 20th, 2014.

Since my move to the UCC this year, I hope to use my own unique voice to raise awareness from not only my colleagues, but with all people within the UCC to a continuing issue that needs to be faced and addressed as a strong human rights matter.  This concerns the right to life, and happiness and peace of mind for transgenders, both in the United States, but around the world.  We are a small demographic, but we are still people, who cry out for respect and even love, both of which are still often denied.  Through ignorance and fear, transgendered children are still being rejected by their parents and families, and instead of learning about this, they cast their children into the streets, often at fairly early ages.  Without home or love, and often with an incomplete education, many are forced by circumstances into the sex trade in order to survive.  This further stigmatized the transgender community.  Societies own hate and prejudice and ignorance has created the problem, and then further adds insult to injury by the stigma that goes with it.

But there are also many of us who have found success as well, moving beyond what others think of us to become successful in many fields of business or the professions, from medicine and the sciences and education and even acting and ministry. We are working to improve public understanding, but it is still an uphill battle in many areas.  Hate and bigotry and fear runs very deep in some places, and as a result, transgenders and transsexuals are still being murdered and mutilated around the world.

Transgender Day of Remembrance, which is on November 20th, globally, it to shine a spotlight on this problem.  In West Hollywood, along with many other places in the country, hold a program to show we still care, and that we also won’t go away.  We stand with those who have died during the year in solidarity and respect.

I invite all of the UCC pastors in the Los Angeles area to join me this November 20th for this Day of Remembrance. The final location for the event will be announced later, which I will make sure gets out.  I also invite all lay members to come as well, to learn, and understand.  I also invite congregations during the month of November to learn more on their own, make this an awareness month, and use it to more fully reach out to the transgender community and welcome them home to Christ with love.

I know what a changed impact that had on my own life, and the lives of other transgenders I know personally.  Together, through Christ’s love, we can still do more.  Mark the date, and let us all work to make a difference.

UPDATE: The Transgender Day of Remembrance will be on November 20 at 7pm, located at 625 N., San Vicente Blvd, at the West Hollywood Library, in West Hollywood.  It is located on the West of the street, just above Melrose.  Parking is available in the structure behind the library, or on available street parking. 

I hope as many clergy can come, in Collar is possible, to let the TG community we do stand with them, through Christ.  I encourage those coming to be there close to 6pm for parking

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