On the most solemn day of our year Transgender day of Remembrance (TDoR) Focus: The Identity Trust and the Congregation of All Souls’ Church Belfast, remembered those transgender and Intersex individuals worldwide who have lost their lives because of society’s intolerance towards them due to a condition they were born with.
This was the 4th year that All Souls’ have been kind enough to host our TDoR with us; but this year was different.
This year whilst still respectful and solemn as always; this year we witnessed a glimmer of light; hope for the future.
The Moderator of the Non Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland (NSPCI) Rt Rev Chris Wilson had very kindly agreed to present Rev Chris Hudson and his congregation at All Souls’ our annual award of Transgender Champion of the year 2015.
He said that he hoped for a time when people would not need to receive awards for being accepting and inclusive of everyone in our society.
This year we were further honoured by the attendance of Rev Dr Lesley Carroll, Deputy Chief Commissioner, Equality commission N.I. who presented a reading for us at our service; a lovely gesture and very much appreciated.
The Clerk of the NSPCI, Rev R McKee, was also present at the service.
Finally our very own student minister, Linda Ballard accepted a stole designed and made for her from Focus: The Identity Trust, presented to her by her Minister Rev Hudson.
Linda plans to form her Ministry around gender issues.
A proud mother of a transgender individual herself, Linda is best placed in the knowledge and understanding of the challenges faced by parents of Transgender children.
This year we witnessed people of courage taking risks and making huge leaps forward for equality and human rights of our fellow human beings.
True Champions, true leaders showing the way. With them on our side how can we not succeed?
All we ask is that we are part of society…..not apart from society.