Methodist Church Appoints Its First ‘Non- Binary’ Transgender Deacon

The United Methodist Church has commissioned its first openly transgender, non-binary individual as a provisional deacon.After a 12 year-long journey, M Barclay was officially appointed on Sunday as a member of the clergy by the Northern Illinois Conference.While it isn’t the first time the United Methodist Church has ordained transgender clergy — in 2009, a pastor who had transitioned from male to female in his youth confided to the congregation that he was transgender — Rev. Barclay is the first openly “non-binary trans person” to become a United Methodist deacon, according to Reconciling Ministries Network.

The new deacon grew up in a conservative Florida community and initially identified as a straight woman. According to the Washington Post, it was only after studying feminist theology and queer theory that Barclay realized they didn’t fit the mold and came out as a lesbian woman .Rev Barclay now considers themselves“non-binary trans”, meaning they do not identify as either male or female and prefers to be address by the gender neutral pronoun “they.”Barclay, who initially struggled with whether to remain in the ministry due to its views on queer and gender non conforming people, currently serves as director of communications at Reconciling Ministries Network, a Chicago-based organization that advocates for the inclusion of LGBTQ people in church life.“For so long, I’ve longed to be a pastoral presence in the world — and certainly you can do that without a collar — but we have ordination for a reason, and part of that is that I can publicly identify as a pastor now,” Barclay said told United Methodist Church News.

Source: Methodist Church Appoints Its First ‘Non- Binary’ Transgender Deacon | Heat Street

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