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Desert Notes March 28, 2024

Love is our Doctrine. Service is our prayer. Justice is our calling.

Desert Notes March 28, 2024

What is International Trans Day of Visibility? This is a day for trans and non-binary folks to celebrate the fullness of their humanity with the larger communities that surround them–friends and loved ones who honor their identity and protect their humanity. The website for GLAAD says that “while only about 30% of the general American public says they personally know a trans person, that percentage drastically varies when segmented by age. For example, 19% of Americans over 65 claim to know someone trans, while half (50%) of Americans under the age of 30 have a transgender friend or family member. This isn’t surprising when taken into account that about 1 in 5 Gen Z adults identify as LGBTQ, according to Gallup’s 2022 poll.” Recently, we’ve seen a huge amount of legislation and local policies across the country, including in Arizona, targeting LGBTQIA folks, especially trans and non-binary folks.  

Different from Trans Day of Remembrance, which is meant to memorialize trans folks who have been killed or have died by suicide, TDOV (Visibility!) is about joyful celebration, much like PRIDE parades. At a time when “over 400 anti-LGBTQ bills have been filed so far, with over half specifically targeting trans people, particularly youth” we need spaces that will allow “trans people to be seen through authentic, diverse, and accurate stories which reflect the actual lived experiences of trans people; both for themselves and for those people who believe they’ve never met a trans person.” It is March 31 every year, and this year it lands on Easter.  

This is important to me personally because of the many transgender folks I’ve met over time, and because my own household includes someone who identifies this way. It’s important to our future because, as you’ve read, nearly 20% of Gen Z identify as LGBTQIA, and this means that many of them identify with more than one letter in that alphabet soup. As we make room for the diversity of human expression that is connected to both nature/DNA/chemistry and nurture/culture/relationship, we are seeing more and more of us claiming our whole selves and naming the parts we used to keep hidden or unnamed–in fear of violence, losing our belonging to families and communities, and lack of basic resources to meet everyday needs.  

How is it related to Easter? Come hear my sermon on Sunday! It’s the follow up to my Palm Sunday sermon, and it shares with you a UU perspective on resurrection, Jesus, and being a faith community. Perhaps you’ll find your own answer when you ask yourself “who do we say we are?” as UU’s and “who do we say Jesus was and what did he teach us?” What happens when we roll away the stone?

-Rev. Sarah