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Pastoral Care in a Global Context

by Chris Paige


Transfaith Community Engagement Adviser, Angel Collie, was busy during the General Conference of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (commonly called MCC) -- and one of his workshops made the Windy City Times, in "Finding Hope for Embattled Ugandan LGBTs" by Matt Simonette.

Drawing out the significance of Ugandan anti-gay legislation for transgender people, Angel comments,

"Trans individuals, since they are less likely to pass as straight, are bearing the brunt of the prejudice, Collie added. Many trans women are forced into sex work as their last option, without any support networks. Oftentimes they find themselves in scuffles with other sex workers who are upset that trans women get more clients or are concerned about their territory being stepped on."

After tracing the important details of colonial vs. neo-colonial impacts from Western Christian influences, Angel goes on to note the critical importance of pastoral care in a country where 82.6% of the population identifies as Catholic, Anglican, or Protestant. "Everywhere you go you are surrounded by churches and religious messaging—I would go to secular LGBTQ meetings and they would begin with a prayer," says Collie.

Engaging across borders of culture and nationality is complicated. However, the importance of pastoral care among Christian identified people of transgender experience certainly translates to many contexts. 

The Transfaith Institute is working to develop and deploy trainings at this intersection to empower clergy, chaplains, and community members who might be in a position to provide spiritual care to people of transgender experience.

Read the full article at the Windy City Times: "Finding Hope for Embattled Ugandan LGBTs" by Matt Simonette.


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