A Call to Worship for the Transgender Day of Visibility
Welcome! I am Michelle Paquette, and my pronouns are she/her/hers.
In our Unitarian Universalist faith we teach that we may each participate in a in free and responsible search for truth and meaning.
Many of us have been engaged in a search for our personal truths, a personal voyage of discovery. This search may lead us to uncover deep truths about ourselves, and bring those truths to the surface.
As we find and live our truths, we may change how we identify ourselves, how we present ourselves to others in appearance, role, and identity. This is a deeply personal act, in which we reveal these deep truths to others, and render ourselves vulnerable to them as part of trying to live our authentic lives.
We ask of others that they also do something in response to our revelation. We ask that they honor our worth and dignity, and accept us as we accept them.
This isn’t always an easy thing to do.
Something I have stumbled over quite a bit in my life is a tendency to commit what I call “acts of assumption.” My mind tries to match what I perceive at first glance against cultural templates I’ve been taught over my life, to try and produce conclusions about a person I see before me.
I unconsciously commit these acts of assumption with every person I meet. If that person then reveals something to me that conflicts with my assumptions about them, there is a bit of an internal conflict. Which is correct, my assumptions or their revealed truths?
It’s not easy to reveal a deep truth about ourselves, only to have it rejected out of hand with a gesture, a remark, or a misgendering pronoun.
It’s not easy to realize that our assumptions are wrong, that the person we see before us is not who we thought they were, that we have perhaps made an unconscious error. Still, it is easy to recover from this, learn, reset our assumptions, and move on. It’s not so easy to have deep truths about ourselves casually rejected, authenticity denied.
In our Unitarian Universalist faith we strive to see the worth and dignity of every person, accept one another, and engage in a in free and responsible search for truth and meaning. I love this about our faith, and I love the experience that this provides me. I love being able to enter into a space where I know I can express my deep truths, be my authentic self, and know that I am in the company of others who honor my worth and dignity, and who accept me as I accept them. Thank you for your gift.
This week, on March 31, we celebrate the Transgender Day of Visibility.
We celebrate the Transgender Day of Visibility in today’s service, which affirms the truth in each of us. As a community, we support each other through each of life’s transformations. Later in the service, we will hold the Ceremony of Renaming for members of the community who are claiming their identities by living with a new name.
Let’s celebrate our revealed truths today, as we worship together.