Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Transgender and the LDS Church

I look out for articles that effect Mormons, Mormon gays and Mormons who know gays. Acceptance and kindness are the general issues here.

 I must have missed this when it happened in January. Here is a link to a story titled "A Mormon Leader Signals New Openness on Transgender Issues. This Could Be Huge" by Taylor G. Petrey on Slate. Below the video is a small part of what Petrey says.

(The video is of a dude who answers questions on being transgendered.  I found this interesting and found the responses very warming. Bravo for Bruce Jenner coming out with her story,  People are talking, and that is a very good thing.)

"In a rare interactive interview held at the end of January, high-ranking leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints fielded questions on LGBT issues. Church members flooded the moderator with queries about how to navigate the tension between supporting family members and friends and following one’s conscience on LGBT issues when it is at variance with current church teachings."

"One question dealt with transgender identity, and the response by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, one of the highest-ranking church leaders, was the most significant—and under reported—statement from that session. A mother said, “I have a transgender son who came out to us about a year ago. … I hate having to fear what retaliation [from church leaders] I might have for supporting him … I think we as members need that assurance that we can indeed have our own opinions, support our children, and still follow our beliefs.”

"Oaks responded:  This question concerns transgender, and I think we need to acknowledge that while we have been acquainted with lesbians and homosexuals for some time, being acquainted with the unique problems of a transgender situation is something we have not had so much experience with, and we have some unfinished business in teaching on that."

"Oaks’ tone was conciliatory and optimistic. A leader of a church that is famously conservative on gender and sexuality issues expressed some reservations about current teachings on transgender issues, anticipating that more experience might lead to changes. Here and elsewhere, rather than retrenching, the church is showing subtle signs of evolving some of its paradigms on gender and sexual identity." -- Taylor G. Petrey

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