09 February 2023
Young, trans, non-binary and Methodist
Discussions around trans and non-binary people can seem everywhere at the moment. Many of the conversations can feel unhelpful for those who are trans or non-binary themselves, often focusing on gender in relation to others, rather than welcoming them as the people they are called to be.
Here, as part of LGBT+ History month, young trans and non-binary people talk for themselves about their experiences.
(If you would like to talk to someone in confidence regarding the issues raised in this blog, you can talk to your youth or church leader. You can also find links for support here.)
We have come far and there is more to go
I have always had a good relationship with the Methodist Church regarding my queerness. I am non-binary, panromantic and demisexual: non-binary meaning that I feel neither male nor female regarding gender; panromantic meaning that for me gender does not affect romantic attraction; and demisexual meaning I do not feel any sexual attraction unless I have a strong emotional bond with someone. I came out about my sexuality late in 2021, and came out with my gender identity in June 2022.
One of the main events that links my queerness to my faith, and to the Methodist Church, was my baptism. I was baptised on the 17th July 2022, and I used my baptism as a confirmation of my identity in the Christian faith, and a confirmation of my identity in myself. My identity in both are intrinsically linked with each other. I could not have my faith in God without my identity of being non-binary; I could not have a full understanding of my gender and sexuality without a strong faith and belief in Jesus and God.
In the Methodist Church I attend we have recently agreed to start conversations linked with the 2021 Methodist Conference decision allowing churches to choose whether they want same-sex marriages on their premises. For me, this shows the willingness of my church to have a better understanding of the issues and discussions surrounding the topic. It also makes me feel more accepted, therefore allowing me to be open about who I am as a person.
I am happy in my church community, and I am happy with the Methodist Church's response towards people in the LGBTQ+ community. We have come far from where we were a decade ago, and there is more to go, but the Methodist Church should be proud of what we are doing for queer people.
3Generate Agents of Change Youth Rep
Coming From a Queer Family in The Church
My name is Luca, I am a Global Youth Representative for the Methodist Church and have been attending church since birth, I’m a transgender queer man, and I have lesbian parents. Needless to say, we aren’t your stereotypical churchgoers. It often surprises people to hear that I am religious, and I’ve even lost friends over it due to them thinking my identity is a sin or that I am being hypocritical. Others think all Christians are homophobic, when in reality that is an old drawn-out stereotype and not the truth.
My mums have been taking my sisters and I to church our whole lives. They took us to 3Generate for the first time in 2018 which allowed me to meet so many more queer, young Christians. In 2019 I came out as transgender, a month later I gave testimony in front of at least a hundred people at my second 3Generate, which was so empowering, I had people come up to me afterwards to talk about being a queer Christian and this set in stone the idea of becoming a youth representative once I was old enough.
Over the course of my life, I have had a couple of homophobic experiences within the church. Once the person leading the service started talking about homosexuality being a sin. Thankfully I was in the Sunday school at the time but my mum came in having left the service and that person was never allowed back to preach. We had the support of the whole church and so much love was shown to my whole family afterwards. Last year my church voted unanimously to allow same-sex marriage, and this made me feel even more welcome.
Queer Christians exist, God loves us just the same as everyone else.
3Generate Global Youth Rep
You love all your children equally. Forgive us when we have failed to do so.
When we have turned our backs on our LGBTQ+ siblings because it was the easier thing to do.
We pray for those who cannot ignore this mistreatment because it would mean choosing between themself and their relationships.
We thank you for those throughout history who could not live with injustice and have fought for a better world. Because of them, we can be the beautifully diverse people you created.
Thank you, wonderful God.
3Generate Agents of Change Youth Rep