All are welcome? Trans and non-binary
Alex Clare-Young looks at the experience of trans people in churches
I wonder what feeling genuinely welcome means to you. This month, I write about my own experiences in church as a trans, non-binary person.
Trans refers to people whose gender differs from their sex assigned at birth. Non-binary refers to those whose gender differs from the binary genders of male or female. The way in which trans and non-binary people are recognised by the Equality Act is through the protected characteristic ‘Gender Reassignment’. This characteristic refers to all who have undertaken or intend to undertake a process of social and/or clinical transition.
Trans people are increasingly a topic of debate. This affects them in very real ways. We are concerned about our legal status, medical care, accessing public spaces, being removed from public discussions that affect us, and being at risk of harm. In February, a trans teenager, Brianna Ghey, was killed. This column is written in memory of Brianna.
I’m Alex, my pronouns are they/them and I am trans and non-binary. For me, that means that I transitioned towards male around 11 years ago, and now live as non-binary. I see myself as closer to male than female, but also recognise parts of myself which are feminine or beyond gender. Gender and sex are both really complicated, and I try to embody that complexity in the way that I live. For me, saying that I am non-binary and using the pronouns they/them is a matter of truthfulness – I want to live as my authentic self. I believe that communicating authentically with God and with other people is central to Christian identity, and to ministry.
This is an extract from an article published in the April 2023 edition of Reform