UCC publishing love letters to trans youth on Trans Day of Visibility March 31
“What the world needs now is love, sweet love.”
Those lyrics from a 1965 ballad made popular by Dionne Warwick resonate loudly today, during a time when the rights of trans and all LGBTQ+ people are increasingly under attack.
That’s why the United Church of Christ is stepping out in faith to visibly show some love to family, friends and neighbors whose basic rights are being threatened in a way like never before.
So far in 2023, the Human Rights Campaign is tracking more than 450 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in statehouses across the country. Approximately 190 of those bills would specifically restrict the rights of transgender people, the highest number of bills targeting transgender people in a single year to date.
The UCC is planning a very public way to show solidarity with those targeted, by publishing a series of love letters to trans people on Friday, March 31, International Transgender Day of Visibility.
“We want to take the day to shower trans youth with messages of love, reminding them they are not alone,” said the Rev. Traci Blackmon, associate general minister, justice and local church ministries. “We want them to know we will not let hate win, and we won’t stop fighting for their rights until they have them. We want them to know that there are more of us supporting them than those who stand against them.”
On Friday, that support will take the form of 48 love letters, published every half hour and shared through a pinned post on the denomination’s social media channels. Beginning in the early morning of March 31 and running through midnight, the short notes will populate a page linked from a banner on the UCC website homepage at ucc.org. Additional letters also may be added as they come in.
“We are living in a perilous time for LGBTQ persons across the nation,” Blackmon said. “Some churches and synagogues are being attacked and vandalized for their efforts to hold safe space for LGTBQ adults and youth. Strategizing responses that go beyond reaction and counter-action will take time, but it will be one of the many issues we will continue to give attention to in coming days.
“We believe that every human being bears the image of God,” Blackmon continued. “Every one. No exceptions. Rejecting transgender children’s divine right to live authentically by banning necessary medical treatments does not change their truth. It changes ours. We can no longer claim to love children to whom we bring harm.
“Love looks different. Love is different. We want all of our children to know God loves them, and so do we.”
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