Uplift : Uplifting LGBTQ+ Experience Within and Beyond Unitarian Universalism
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Experiences of Trans Unitarian Universalists

Many colorful rocks arranged to interlock

By Jade Sylvan

TRUUsT recently released a Report on the Experiences of Trans Unitarian Universalists. This report was based on a 2018 survey that TRUUsT conducted along with the UUA’s Multicultural Ministries office. You can read the full report (PDF) and TRUUsT’s Executive Summary.

How Welcoming Are We?

Many UU Congregations participate in the Welcoming Congregations program and consider themselves to be LGBTQ+ inclusive. It may be surprising therefore for cis congregants to discover that 72% of trans UUs do not feel as though their congregation is completely inclusive of them as trans people. 42% of trans UUs regularly experience trans-related marginalization in UU spaces. Non-binary individuals makeup the majority (61%) of trans Unitarian Universalists, but feel less inclusivity and more marginalizations than their binary trans brothers and sisters.

Trans Intersectionality?

When trans identities intersect with other marginalized identities such as race, ability, and class, the results are even starker. Only 15% of trans people of color and only 12% of disabled, nonbinary people of color feel that their congregation is completely inclusive. Trans UUs trend slightly more racially diverse than UUs in general

56% of trans UUs have at least one disability. Finally, though as a whole Unitarian Universalists are wealthier than the US population, 49% of trans UUs do not have enough income to reasonably meet their personal needs.

Let’s Get to Work!

These results show that Unitarian Universalism still has a ways to go to be a fully welcoming faith. However, TRUUsT also points the way forward, and lists five concrete ways to support trans UUs starting now. Donate to fund trans UUs’ healing and survival. Be an accomplice for trans UUs. Hire trans religious professionals. Engage in trans education.

Take action to make your congregation more affirming.

If you are serious about being a trans-affirming congregation, I urge you to read TRUUsT’s Executive Summary and full report. Unitarian Universalism must put in the work to include and celebrate trans people. Thanks to this informative report, we can now begin to truly move forward.

May it be so,


About the Author

Jade Sylvan

Jade is a 2nd-year Mdiv candidate at Harvard Divinity School, and is currently a UUA Aspirant. Before pursuing their call to ministry, Jade found fulfillment and success as a writer, producer, performing artist, and teacher. Jade is the author of Kissing Oscar Wilde (2013 Write Bloody Publishing)...


For more information contact lgbtq@uua.org.