On Tuesday, May 10, the Rt. Rev. J. Scott Mayer issued this statement in favor of the Fort Worth Independent School District’s Transgender Student Guidelines:
It is unfortunate that Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has decided to interfere in Fort Worth Independent School District’s setting of policies for the safety of all children.
I note that the “Transgender Student Guidelines,” in its provision for “Restrooms and Related Facilities,” protects the privacy and comfort and safety of ALL children: “If other students feel uncomfortable sharing a restroom with a transgender student or if a student has a need or desire for increased privacy, the school must allow the student(s) access to a single stall restroom, a gender neutral restroom, or the opportunity to visit the facility when other students are not present. The single-user restroom, however, must not be given as the only option for transgender students who need or desire increased privacy.”
The Christian writer C. S. Lewis said, “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal . . . Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.”
All human beings are holy, for we all carry a scrap of divinity in us – our souls. It is that which matters, not our outward appearance. Gender identity is a complex mysterious thing, and as science learns more about it, we are led to understand more about the amazing diversity in God’s creation.
To drum up unwarranted and unfounded fears around the issue of gender identity and seek to scapegoat the transgender community is certainly not doing the work of God. Instead they are targeting an already vulnerable community, whose members are already at risk of violence simply for being who they truly are.
I urge the Fort Worth school board and its superintendent to remain strong in the face of this fear-mongering as they work for the welfare of all our children.
The Rt. Rev. Scott Mayer
Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth