The Leadership Teams of Local Women Religious Call for Support of Trans Youth
BVM Leadership has signed onto the statement from DignityUSA.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) website reports that transgender people face discrimination obtaining accurate identification documents such as driver’s licenses and passports. One in 5 trans people report being refused medical care that they need. 78% of trans people experience harassment in K-12 settings.
We call on lawmakers to pass laws that will provide legal protections for trans youth and reduce harassment and bullying in schools. No one deserves bullying in school, at the doctor’s office, or at home. Making schools safe is not something trans youth can do on their own any more than racial or ethnic respect is a one-sided effort. The safety and rights of all LGBTQ+ people need to be protected and their contributions to society deserve to be recognized. Schools need to be a safe place for all students.
Our charisms call us to educate others about the God who created them and loves them so that they might freely respond to God’s call to be loving presence toward others and call out the injustices that must be resolved with care for the other.
Learning respect for all people is especially needed in our globalized world. Teaching respect prepares students to interact in a manner that avoids stereotyping and condemning. Being made in the image and likeness of God, God loves you for who you are. Being trans is not a defect. All children deserve dignity and respect.
It is important to listen first. Listen to young people and help them sort out their feelings. Be nonjudgmental, compassionate, and empathetic. Put aside your own fears and prejudices. Listen for their fears and other issues they are dealing with.
March 31 is Transgender Day of Visibility. Let us speak up in support of our youth, the one down the street, our family members. Let them know that their visibility is important; their lives are worth living and they are treasured by our loving God.
The congregational leadership teams of the Sisters of Charity, BVM, the Sisters of the Presentation, the Sisters of St. Francis of Dubuque, and the Sinsinawa Dominican Leadership Council.