This resource was written by Kelsey Pacha for CLGS, the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry at Pacific School of Religion, and made possible by a grant from the Atkinson Foundation. Through their generosity, CLGS has worked with congregations, parents, and religious educators in San Mateo County and beyond to create this resource.

In recent years, transgender people have become much more visible in pop culture and media. Despite the emergence of figures like Chaz Bono or Janet Mock, most people have never actually met a transgender person, not to mention a young transgender person. It is even more difficult for transgender people to come out within faith contexts. In a recent Human Rights Campaign survey of trans* and gender variant youth, only 8% of youth rated their church or place of worship as “very accepting,” with 22% rating their place of worship as “not at all accepting.” 53% of youth surveyed said they did not know whether their own place of worship was accepting of LGBT people. But it doesn’t have to be that way, and your community can be a part of creating a safe faith space for transgender and gender variant young people.