The news of Leelah Alcorn’s suicide has, of course, hit my family hard. And while I wrote a post, erm, a year and a half ago, about being a person of deep faith – in which I only mentioned the name of my religious persuasion in the tags, this is not something I discuss publicly.In large part, I do not discuss this publicly because I have had an internal struggle in which I was not sure my transgender child had a place in my faith. And if she did not have a place, that meant it no longer had a place for me. And that was an intensely painful struggle for me.
I am a Bahá’í. And while you may go ahead and google it, you will find little information of value on the internet concerning transgender folk. And frankly, this post is directed at those who are already aware of the Bahá’í Faith, because it is time for me to claim my right for my family to proudly be a part of the Bahá’í family. I could find quotes from our holy scriptures for people who need that, but frankly, that’s not my job. What I will tell you is what I know the Bahá’í Faith says about being transgender and being a Bahá’í, because while my job is to raise my children to be good little human beings, I also feel a heavy weight to educate as many people about who my transgender daughter (ninja, comic book writer, explorer, inventer, artist, all around awesome human) is and her right to be where everyone is allowed to be. Thus far, we have been incredibly blessed within our own Bahá’í community, but we are a world faith, and we are a united force, not individual units across the world.
This means that a part of me feels that I have to make this space for my daughter throughout the entire Bahá’í world. You know, only 6 million people. Heh.
*And yes, to be clear, my voice is not an official voice, it is a personal voice.* The Bahá’í Faith encourages transgender folks to transition with the support of skilled physicians and therapists (of the individual’s choice, if they are going to transition). Furthermore, the individual is supported in their affirmed gender, and all Bahá’í laws then applying to them as such.
And it is incredibly important to me that my daughter is not shamed or judged by Bahá’ís. It is incredibly important to me that my daughter does not know fear because of Bahá’ís. It is also incredibly important to me that other children, youth and adults do not find themselves in that position because of ignorance and transphobia that is left over from an old tired world. This is not what the Bahá’í Faith is meant for. I want all Bahá’ís to read this. I want all Bahá’ís to understand that my daughter belongs in the Bahá’í Faith like every other child. If you disagree, it’s time for you to go back and fall in love with the spirit of the Bahá’í Faith all over again. Because the Bahá’í Faith is a faith for all humanity. We, as individuals, are not in a position to judge. We are meant to love. If we disagree on that, it’s not my family who doesn’t belong here. We cannot allow the Bahá’í Faith to be a place of bullying.
And if you have a child, and you have questions, please feel free to contact me. I will educate, I will support, and I will encourage. What I am not interested in and will not engage in is debate.