In “Created Male and Female,” an open letter published by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and signed by many other religious leaders late last week, transgender identity is explicitly rejected.
An early section of the letter reads: “We come together to join our voices on a more fundamental precept of our shared existence, namely, that human beings are male or female and that the socio-cultural reality of gender cannot be separated from one’s sex as male or female.”
While the letter urges community members to “respond to those wrestling with this challenge with patience and love,” it also states that being trans is “deeply troubling” and calls for policies that “uphold the truth of a person’s sexual identity as male or female, and the privacy and safety of all.”
In addition, Catholic Bishops condemn parents who acknowledge the identities of their trans kids. “Children especially are harmed when they are told that they can ‘change’ their sex or, further, given hormones that will affect their development and possibly render them infertile as adults. Parents deserve better guidance on these important decisions.”
Studies show, however, that parents’ rejection of their trans children can lead to increased stress, depression, and suicidal thoughts, and that trans children thrive when parents accept their identities.
Though this most recent rejection of trans people is in line with Pope Francis’ previous statements, it’s worth highlighting the other religious leaders who support and advocate on behalf of the trans community.