UU World Article Concern
I share the following excerpt from a letter received by all Ministers and Board President’s from our UUA Pacific Western Region Primary Contact Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh to the congregations she serves.
“You may be getting a version of this multiple times through multiple sources. Because it matters. Here’s an over-simplified version of what happened — The UU World magazine ran the article “After L, G and B”, from a cisgender author disclosing her struggle with being an ally to transgender persons. As the article was being planned and written, a UU leader who is transgender asked that the article not be run, that an article written by someone who is actually transgender would be more appropriate. Chris Walton, editor of the UUWorld, issued an apology for choosing to go ahead with the article, which appears in the print magazine that arrived in your mailboxes this week.
Friends, your regional staff urges you to read not only Walton’s apology, but the important critiques that our transgender siblings in faith have made of the article. The links below will guide you to those critiques.
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TRUUsT will not idly accept this sort of blatant erasure of trans voices in Unitarian Universalism. We refuse to be complicit in this behavior. We call on all cisgender UUs who are committed to being allies and accomplices to amplify trans UU voices, our hurt, and our rage. Be the prophetic voice for justice and inclusivity that we believe Unitarian Universalism can be. We ask that you:
- Read the article, if you haven’t already, and actively speak to the harm it does.
- Read and amplify trans UU voices speaking to why this article is so harmful, such as Alex Kapitan’s Facebook postand CB Beal’s Medium piece.
- Familiarize yourself with who trans UUs are and our experiences in Unitarian Universalism by readingTRUUST’s recent reporton the experiences of trans UUs.
- Join the TRUUST Call to Action, which includes both actions you can take in your communities and a link to donate to TRUUST.
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If your gender identity matches the gender you were born into (cisgender) and the article seems fine to you even after reading the links above, please do not ask transgender people in your life to explain it to you. That’s a micro-aggression and it causes harm and exhaustion.
May our UU movement learn from this experience, helping us to be humble, and guiding us to courageously live in to our promise to include people of *all* genders.
With faith, hope, and love,
I commend my colleague and our regional staff liaison for reaching out to help us all identify ways to gain understanding and to offer movement forward towards healing and reconciliation. I am available for anyone who wishes to speak further of the matters raised in the initial article, and the responsive critiques from our dear and beloved friends in the Transgendered community. Please be in touch if you need a listening ear, a shoulder to share the burden, or a hug to ease the hurt.