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Community Interview: Sa'riya Jackson


Editor’s Note: Transfaith speaks with Sa'riya Jackson at the 2016 Black Trans Advocacy Conference.

How would you describe your personal spiritual or philosophical view?

I am a Baptist and I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, my lord and savior. I believe he died on the cross for the remission of my sins. That is my personal relationship and salvation.

How has your spiritual perspective evolved over time and what kind of challenges or opportunities do you think your faith offers you?

Evolving is about spiritual maturity and with that comes the understanding of the conviction of the Holy Ghost and being led by the Holy Ghost and the spirit and understanding one's relationship. Everyone has a different relationship with their humanly or earthly mother and father so my relationship with God is that I look at it as such. As I grow with my parent, my parent teaches me the good, the bad, and the indifferent. That is my guidance and what it has afforded me and my faith and my denomination is that my pastor understands. I have disclosed to him that I am a woman of trans experience and he's there as a shepherd. He's there to lead me and to help me to truly understand maturity and my relationship.

He looks at the spiritual side as opposed to the fleshly side. I think most faith denominations should look at the spirit opposed to the flesh. It has afforded me to be on the Women's Auxiliary Board, and also to be part of two musical entities at our services. It also afforded me the opportunity to help organize a small pageantry system and fundraiser for our youth educational building. I'm extremely excited that he has taken the initiative to not only acknowledge that I am a trans woman of experience, but he has not disclosed to congregation. It's something that we have not kept as a secret but we kept it confidential.

How do you see your work in the world and how does your faith impact your work?

A lot of people they don't like to mix church with state. They say church and state is something that is totally different, but if you're a believer you take that belief to work. When I see my clients or the people that I work with, it really helps me gain sense of how to navigate my own personal stuff. As I help them navigate services and find resources and referrals for those individuals it helps me find resources and ways to maneuver through life. As I'm helping other people they don't see that me helping them is helping me. God says to love your neighbor as you love yourself. If I do not love others how am I going to expect anyone to love me?


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