ESR MDiv student Anthony Kirk delivered the following message during Joint Bethany/ESR Worship on November 18, 2016:
Being transgender in America is a dangerous, lonely, and isolating existence. We are denied safe spaces. We are denied equal treatment and protections under the law. We are not given adequate medical treatment. We are even denied a place to use the bathroom.
We have been butchered at the hands of politicians, congregations, medical professionals, counselors, by gay and lesbian people, our families… Our lives have been dismissed as not real. That we are simply mentally disturbed. We can have the “dysphoria” beaten out of us, verbally, emotionally, physically. We are left for dead. We are drowning in pain and sorrow. We are murdered at alarming rates. 41% of us attempt suicide.
2016 has been a painful reminder to me and to my community at just how vulnerable we are at the hands of our society. This year boasts the highest rate of transgender murders—mostly transwomen of color—and the year is not yet over. My siblings of God are calling suicide hotlines more than previously reported. After the election last week the levels skyrocketed.