This Christian Group Is Raising Money for Trans People

In direct response to the Nashville Statement, a Christian coalition has begun raising funds to help trans people access the gender affirmation medical care they need.

Tithing for trans people

A campaign set up by Faithfully LGBT, a self-described platform for LGBT people of faith, aims to raise money throughout September to provide funds for gender affirmation surgeries. While medical costs vary depending on the needs of the individual, it’s common for the surgical aspects of transition to reach between $10,000 and $50,000 or more.

Because trans people are less likely to have access to higher paying jobs — or employment of any kind — and face multiple pressures due to discrimination, Faithfully LGBT hopes to live up to the tenets of its faith and provide charity for those in need.

In particular, the group aims to right the wrongs of high-profile right-wing religious groups that have used their faith as a shield to discriminate against and denigrate trans lives.

The campaign page notes:

Christians have disparaged the bodies of trans people which has contributed to a culture of violence against them. From promoting anti-trans bathroom legislation to theology that has lead to suicides and homelessness. For those Christians who have seen this violence and have been horrified by it, it’s time to put your tithe money where your beliefs are.

So far the group has raised nearly $2,500 dollars, with a goal of reaching $10,000 by the end of September. All of that money will go to the Jim Collins Foundation, which funds gender affirmation care for those in need.

The campaign was reportedly established in the wake of the the now infamous “Nashville Statement.”

The Nashville Statement

Authored and signed by over 150 evangelical leaders last month, the Nashville Statement rejects transgender identity, reaffirms that the belief that homosexuality is a sin and rallies against feminism by supposedly reestablishing the “Christ-defined” roles of men as leaders of their household.

If the document sounds odious, it is. Yet, the Trump administration has not condemned — nor even commented on — the Statement. Then again, one of its primary supporters is Tony Perkins, a man who also claims to have pushed President Trump into his anti-trans military ban.

While the president may not have taken action, other Christians have firmly declared: this is not what we believe, and this is not who we are. The “#TitheTrans” campaign offers just one example of religious people rejecting hatred.

Reclaiming faith from hateful campaigns

Indeed, we can hardly forget the terrible events that happened during a white supremacist gathering in Charlottesville a few weeks ago. Some of those protestors claimed to be demonstrating to honor their Christian faith.

But even then, people of faith like the Congregate Charlottesville urged others to join them in “nonviolent, direct action” to protest the march.

And there have been many other instances of people of faith attempting to counter right-wing actions, from faith leaders standing with young DREAMers to churchgoers supporting nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people in law.

Indeed, broadly speaking, Muslims, Catholics, Jews and mainline protestants all poll in favor of nondiscrimination protections, while most religious communities support trans public accommodations protections.

Again, overall, acceptance among religious groups is not the exception — yet you wouldn’t know it from the way that the far right has used religious messaging as a weapon against LGBT people and other minorities.

As a humanist, I have frequently written about my reasoning that we do not need a religion in order to do good in this world. However, it is undeniable that, for many people, faith is a very important part of who they are. It can also serve as a catalyst for connecting with others and furtherning progressive and charitable causes.

As such, I believe actions like the “#TitheTrans” campaign are fundamentally important at this time. While the far right may be employing a particularly toxic brand of religious fervor, people of faith from across the political spectrum are standing up to say that those actions do not reflect the core principles of love and generosity that sit at the heart of their beliefs.

Photo Credit: Ted Eytan/Flickr

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