Prayers for Transgender Justice
In March 2016, the Transforming Hearts Collective partnered with the Religious Institute for a National Weekend of Prayer for Transgender Justice. To kick things off, we wrote a prayer and reached out to some of our fellow trans faith leaders from many spiritual traditions to offer prayers from their traditions. We share them here in love and gratitude.
Offered by the Transforming Hearts Collective
Spirit of life and love that resides within and among us, we enter this moment with all that we are, with an open heart, and with a love for justice.
We hold in love and prayer all transgender people, so many of whom live under the weight of violence, fear, and intolerance. We hold in love and prayer all the ways that transgender people have survived and thrived in a hostile world. We hold in love and prayer all who recognize the significance of gender justice for all people.
We who believe in freedom will not rest until it comes. We pray for the dawn of a new day when the very humanity of trans people is no longer called into question or ignored. We pray that physical, emotional, and spiritual violence will come to an end. We pray that a spirit of compassion and care will fill us to overflowing, that we may have the capacity to listen, learn, and grow not only in our awareness but also in our willingness to act. We pray for teachers, spiritual leaders, social workers, lawyers, and all people who heed the call to support trans liberation, trans leadership, and trans visibility. May they ultimately lean into the Light of truth and justice, offering hope to Trans and gender nonconforming youth and adults.
On this day, we commit and recommit to creating a world where people of all genders know peace, love, and justice. We commit and recommit to living lives of compassion and care for all of humanity. We commit and recommit to the healing work of relationship-building that will help every person know, no matter their gender or sexuality, that they are loved and valued.
Offered by Fresh! White, Minister of Love, mindfulness practitioner, student of Buddhist philosophy and spirituality
Dear Ancestor Spirits: Please hear our prayer.
Remind us to breathe deep in each moment, touching our lives from within, as we honor you there.
Remind us to reach back to you who were here long before we began counting time, or needing labels to describe ourselves as human beings.
You goddesses, warriors, and kings; healers, priests, shamans, two-spirit; family and friends; share with us your wisdom, that we may know the power of community, and understand we are already ONE, we need only self-love and compassion so that we can truly let each other in!
Dear Spirit/Creator/Higher Power/Goddess/God/Universe/Mother Earth…You who are calling us forward: Remind us that we are deserving and there is enough! Enough space in this world, in the hearts of this world, and in our communities, for All of Us to be, do, and have All our heart’s “true” desires: To be safe, Loved and happy as our authentic spiritual selves!
Dear Spirits, Collectively: We call on All of you at this time, to come and breathe with and through us, as we walk our paths towards equity and freedom. Remind us that each breath is not just for this moment (the most important one), it’s also for our future! With you, we remember that no matter where we are, when we can be truly present, we can and do create our future.
We give thanks to you Dear Spirits for bringing us this far; for calling forth our authenticity so that we can be free to clear the hurdles in our paths for our own taking, and also for our youth, and seniors, those of us at higher risk of inner and outer harm, the lonely. With your guidance, we can work together to create a more just and equitable; safe, strong and healthy life experience for those within, and beyond the transgender spectrum; for all beings.
In remembrance of our sisters, brothers and others lost to violence in all forms, Please Hear Our Prayers! Ashe! Aho! Amen! Blessed Be!
Offered by Rev. Debra J. Hopkins, Black trans woman, minister at Sacred Souls Community Church, Charlotte, NC
Loving Creator, Let the rain come and wash away the ancient grudges, the bitter hatreds held and nurtured over generations. Let the rain wash away the memory of the heart, and neglect. Then Oh God, let the sun come out and fill the sky with beautiful rainbows.
Let the warmth of the Sun heal us wherever we are broken. Let It burn away the fog so that each of us sees each other clearly. So that we can move beyond labels, beyond accents, gender, sexual orientation, or skin color. Let the warmth and brightness of the sun melt our selfishness. So that we can share the joy and sorrow of our neighbors. And let the light of the sun be so strong that we will see all people as our neighbors.
Let the Earth, nourished by rain, bring forth flowers to surround us with your beauty, and let the mountains teach our hearts to reach upward to heaven. Then, Dear God, grant us comfort, give us peace, and allow us strength to enable us to Stand up, Fight for, and be a Voice for Equality. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Offered by Rabbi Emily Aviva Kapor-Mater, radical transfeminist rabbi, author, and activist, Seattle, WA
אלהינו ואלהי אבותינו ואמותינו, ברך את קהילתינו הטרנס הקדושה, את כל עדת הטרנס, ואת כל העוברים על גבולי החיים. תן לנו חיים ושמחה מאת אוצר ברכותך, ופרוש עלינו סוכת שלומך. יהי בכוחינו לברוא ולהתברא, ליצור ולהתיצר, ולקיים רצונך לאהוב את הבריאות ולרדוף את השלום. למדנו אמת וצדק, כי אתה הוא מגן לכל הדכופים. שלח הצלה וצדקה לכל עדתינו, ויהי חסדך עמנו כאשר היה עם אבותינו ואמותינו. ברוך אתה, האל העושה צדקה ושלום לכל העוברים על גבולי החיים.
Our God and God of our ancestors, we ask your blessing upon our community, the holy assembly of all transgender people, and upon all who cross over the boundaries of life. Grant us life and happiness from your abundance of blessings, and spread over us the shelter of Your peace. Grant us the strength to create and to be created, to form and to be formed, and to fulfill Your will to love all creation and to pursue peace. Teach us truth and justice, for You are a shield for all the oppressed. Send relief and righteousness to all our community, and may Your goodness be with us as it was with our ancestors. Blessed are You, God who makes justice and peace for all who cross over the boundaries of life.
Offered by Qasima Wideman, Queer Black Muslim, Durham, NC
In the name of Allah, the Lover, the Gentle, the Kind, grant us in our souls a temple, a shrine, a mosque, a church, where we may kneel before an altar where no walls and no names exist. Unite our hearts together and guide us out of darkness into freedom and light. Grant us the power of our ancestors who protected one another from oppression, and who helped one another to stand in your light. Anoint us with patience, strengthen our footsteps and grant us victory over those who reject us. Break our kindred in prisons free of their shackles and reunite our families. Cleanse and heal the souls of our fallen trans kindred with water, ice and snow; and expand their entry into your Garden. Open a path for us to freedom that leaves no one behind.
NATIVE TRADITIONALIST PRAYER
Offered by Pastor Lynn Young, Two Spirit of Lakota heritage, Seminarian at Chicago Theological Seminary
Great Mystery, We lift up our prayers in the ancient ways of our people. Lead us to the path of wisdom and understanding; let all of us live together in sacred kinship.
We hold in love and sacredness all transgender people as sacred children of your creation, who all too often live in fear under the weight of violence and close-mindedness. We hold in love and prayer all of the ways in which transgender people have survived and thrived in this world designed by you for peace, but that exists now in hostility. We hold in love and prayer all who have ever felt the crushing weight of oppression, the invisibility of disregard, or the searing pain that results from denials of their very humanity.
We pray for trans people everywhere, your sacred children. Remind them, and remind us all, that when we gaze at our reflection in a still pond or a mirror’s surface a manifestation of your divine spirit gazes back at us. We pray that the energy of the four winds, and the power of our ancestors bring the spirit of wisdom and compassion to leaders, advocates, and trans people.
As we walk the path of sacredness each day, guide our feet to what is good, wise, and right; help us walk in a good way. May we all be agents of wisdom and compassion, offering hope to trans and gender nonconforming youth that is too often hard to come by.
Great Spirit, fill us with light, warm us with your teachings. Help us to walk the soft Earth with clear sight, as loving relatives to all creation. Aho.
UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST PRAYER
Offered by Rev. Theresa I. Soto, non-binary queer Latinx Unitarian Universalist minister
Spirit of Life, In these difficult times, we ask for connection, to You, to ourselves, to one another, and to our greater purpose. We turn toward you, like a swift breeze, able to bring refreshment and life to our hearts that are burdened. We know that you know that transness is life and that You accept us and all the ways that we are, not as part of being human but as a multiplicity of expressions of love.
We call on you for strength, as the way before is long, and we have so far to travel. We travel toward Justice. Keep us focused on that. And to make that journey, we need safety and courage in equal measure. Give us both.
Soften the hearts of those who are causing their own suffering by clutching their transphobia so tightly. Show them the way back to their own humanity.
But above all, we ask for more love, around us, among us, between us. We give thanks and say amen.