Cameron Partridge, an openly transgender priest, took the pulpit at the National Cathedral Sunday. The guest preacher, who is an Episcopal chaplain at Boston University, was invited to speak at the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in honor of LGBT pride month. Revered Partridge was the first openly transgender priest to preach at the Washington National Cathedral, one our nation’s most recognizable domestic parishes.
Reports the Inquisitr:
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 transsexual chaplain at a major university.
The lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender community was well-represented at the service. The Right Rev. Gene Robinson, a gay Episcopal bishop, presided over the service, and LGBT members took turns leading the group with scriptural readings and prayers.
The Cathedral’s dean, The Very Ref. Gary Hall, spoke prior to the service and said his hope was that it “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.”
At the service, Partridge said he was proud to call himself a member of a church that so openly embraces individuals of all sexual orientation and identities.
“As we behold one another in these days of celebration may we honor the way we sustain each other,” he said.
Partridge was born a female and transitioned to a male over a decade ago.
Reports Metro News: “The Episcopal Church approved its first openly gay bishop in 2003, when Reverend Robinson ascended to lead the diocese of New Hampshire. The move was met with controversy. Hundreds of parishes opposed his consecration, saying the church was becoming too liberal.”
Partridge said: “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.”
Prior to the service, Partridge spoke with the Washington Blade and said that his differences are part of humanity, and should not be seen as “impediments.”
“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,” he said.
According to the Inquisitr, Pope Francis was named 2013′s Person of the Year by noted LGBT publication The Advocate.
What are your thoughts on the Episcopal Church’s open embracing of the LGBT community? Sound off below.
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