Uplift: Uplifting LGBTQ+ Experience Within and Beyond Unitarian Universalism

Gender Justice Conversations v. 2.0

A white nonbinary person with long brown hair looking into the camera

By Jude Sylvan

Greetings Beloveds,

Jade here. I'm about five months into my expanded role as LGBTQ Ministries and Clara Barton Gender Justice Fellow. Part of my mission and goal in this role is to help shape a new vision of Gender Justice within Unitarian Universalism that is truly trans and nonbinary inclusive.
According to a report conducted by TRUUsT in 2018, most trans and nonbinary UUs do not feel fully welcomed in UU spaces. At the same time, there has historically been friction between "traditional" (white, cis) "feminism" and trans and nonbinary inclusion. I believe that true Gender Justice must not be exclusionary. To that end, I want to listen, to understand, and to help form a plan. 
To do that, I've been hosting Gender Justice Conversations with UUs from all over via Zoom and in person. These conversations have helped me to understand the perspectives and hopes of many in our community regarding Gender Justice, which will be invaluable as I write my final report on the subject in May 2020. So far I've had over a dozen of these Gender Justice Conversations with UUs of many backgrounds and identities, but the work is far from over. 
Over the next two months, I would like to schedule several one-on-one conversations with UUs from across the United States, Canada, and beyond. If you are interested in scheduling a time to talk with me, please email me at jsylvan@uua.org. 
In these conversations, I want to know what "Gender Justice" means to you, and how you have experienced Gender Justice within Unitarian Universalism. Some examples of leading questions might be:

  • Can you think of an experience in a UU space that you felt embodied Gender Justice?
  • How can gender-based affinity groups (women's groups, men's groups, etc) be more inclusive of trans and nonbinary people?
  • How do trans and nonbinary people experience gender-based affinity groups?
  • What are three things a congregation can do to be more inclusively gender just?
  • What concerns you about the future of Unitarian Universalist Gender Justice?

I will be scheduling one-on-one Gender Justice Conversations via Zoom through mid-April, and I would like to speak to as many UUs as possible! These conversations are open to anyone of any and/or no gender. The more perspectives I can seek to understand the richer and fuller my report will be in the spring. I continue to look forward to creating the future of Unitarian Universalist Gender Justice with you! To be a part of this important conversation, please email me at jsylvan@uua.org.


About the Author

Jude Sylvan

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


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