Openly Transgender Priest To Preach At Washington National Cathedral

The Reverend Dr. Cameron Partridge, the Episcopal chaplain at Boston University who is also a transgender priest, will be a guest preacher on Sunday at the Washington National Cathedral. He will be the first openly transgender priest in history to preach from Canterbury Pulpit at the cathedral.

The Episcopal Church, in 2012, actually took the steps to add “gender identity and expression” to it’s “nondiscrimination canon” to ensure gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender individuals were not barred from becoming priests. Today, Partridge is one of seven openly trans clergy in the Episcopal Church and the first transexual chaplain at a major university.

NBC News notes that the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender community will be well represented at the service. In addition to Partridge, the Right Reverend Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, will preside at the service. It is all part of the cathedral’s celebration of LGBT pride month. The Very Ref. Gary Hall, dean of the cathedral, said he hoped:

[The service] will send a symbolic message in support of greater equality for the transgender community. Cameron Partridge is a priest of great intellect, pastoral presence, and possesses a deep passion for the Gospel. We are excited for him to preach at the Cathedral.

Partridge says he is honored to be able to speak at the National Cathedral and hopes he can shed some light on issues regarding gender identity and religion. Partridge says:

I think creation is much richer and more diverse and dynamic than we understand and trans folks are part of that. There is much more ambiguity in the world than we tend to want to acknowledge.

Partridge also does not feel that his religion and gender identity have to be in conflict as he told the Washington Blade.

Difference is real. We have human differences, and they are not simply impediments to get over. They are part of what we need to engage in order to realize our full humanity. That can be something that trans people can be called to.

The service will not only feature religious leaders who are also members of the LGBT community, but also special readings and prayer.

You don’t have to be a transgender priest to earn recognition from some in the gay community, Pope Francis was named 2013?s Person of the Year by noted LGBT publication The Advocate.

What do you think of this special service in honor of LGBT pride month?

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