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By Sydney Brouillard-Coyle

Оver 370 anti-trans bills are currently circulating in the United States, including gender-affirming bans that largely target transgender youth, bans on drag performance, bans on trans individuals participating in sports, “don’t say gay” and “don’t say trans” bills that endanger queer and trans youth in schools, and bills that prevent trans people from using a bathroom that corresponds with who they are.

Hate crimes and threats are also on the rise, with over 140 incidents of anti-LGBTQ protests and threats in 2022, including firebombing, shootings and vandalism.  

This is not limited to the United States either; cities across the country have borne witness to protests against LGBTQ gatherings and safe spaces, while prominent LGBTQ activists are directly targeted and threatened. Trans individuals, particularly Black trans women, face disproportionate high rates of violence, leading to the need for the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which memorializes those lost to transphobic hate within the preceding year.

In order to address the frustration that the only well-known transgender-centered day was the Transgender Day of Remembrance (mourning the murders of transgender people), transgender activist Rachel Crandall founded the Transgender Day of Visibility.

This is an opportunity to celebrate transgender people around the globe and the courage it takes to live openly and authentically. This day also helps to raise awareness about the discrimination transgender people still face. However, visibility comes with significant risk.

Visibility cannot exist without safety. We need better protection for trans youth in schools, both from student bullies and administrators and teachers who fail to intervene. We need better funding for mental health, affordable housing, and a universal basic income.

We need a bill protecting our right to access gender-affirming healthcare, and to reduce barriers for medical transition. We need a clear condemnation of hate speech and violence against trans individuals, and to stop giving bigots a platform through politics and media. We need mandatory diversity training for all schools, universities, colleges, doctors, nurses, social workers, and anyone else working within the service sector. We need people in our governmental systems to truly represent us and to work for us.

We need Christians to stand up against religious bigots who try to use the word of God to condemn and traumatize us. We need everyday citizens to stand up as advocates, activists, and allies to create a world where we can be truly visible – and safe.

I invite you to reflect on this Prayer of Cisgender Confession and Commitment, written by Tammerie Day:

We rise each day into a world that fits our natures, our understandings, our assumptions. The clay of our bodies and faces conform to our spirits: male, female. We are learning it is not so for all of us. Some of us are born of a wilder imagination. We are learning new language and new images for those Spirit is coloring outside our lines: transgender, intersex, gender-variant.

We confess that we have slumbered while members of our family are slaughtered. The headwind of hatred batters bodies and minds and spirits: the diverse beauties that continue to arise. We commit to standing against this headwind of hate, a bulwark to end the battering. We commit to seeing the diverse beauty, all around us, every gendered and gender-free expression, every form of love. We commit to loving difference, and becoming. We commit to learning the new language(s) that enable our beloveds to exist, and thrive.

Love, make us bold, to live our own lives fully and abundantly. Love, give us passion, to work for everyone’s full abundance. Love, gather us together, that no one you have created is not seen is not allowed to live is ever lost to the hurricane of hate again. Amen.

Sydney Brouillard-Coyle (Ney/Nem/Nir) is co-chair of Proud Anglicans of Huron and the music director at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Essex.