Let me make this absolutely clear so there are no misunderstandings:
I support my transgender siblings, anyone who identifies as transgender. I accept them for who they are and I do not support anyone who vilifies or questions my siblings’ very existence.
I support my Pagan trans siblings’ right to exist in our spaces without fear of persecution or vilification.
This means I do not support the Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists, otherwise known as TERFs, who lurk among our so-called “Elders.”
Which means I do not support Byron Ballard or her questioning the validity of trans identity and experience.
Which also means I do not support anyone who supports Ballard in any way. I recently learned this includes someone whose theology and writings I have highly respected in the past, though I’ve come to agree with him less and less. Learning about John Beckett’s support of Byron Ballard at Mystic South was something of a final nail in the coffin.
Let me also make this clear: I was not there. I did not witness this. However, when being told about it by someone who was, I can believe it because it fits with his personality and the general image he cultivates as the “voice of reason” in any debate within the community. Not to mention, I believe in my trans friends and when they tell me “this is harmful” then I act. That’s what I’m doing right now, it’s what I was doing when I unfollowed Bryon Ballard and unfriended John Beckett on Facebook and when I ubsubcribed from Beckett’s Patheos blog newsletter.
I do not believe in tolerance, not when it has been warped and twisted by bigots to mean “you have to tolerate my destruction of you” or “you have to tolerate my hate speech toward you” or “you have to tolerate my spreading vicious lies about you” or “you have to tolerate my legislating away all of your rights” but then the oppressed not allowed to hit back because that’s not tolerant.
I do not tolerate racism. I do not tolerate sexism or homophobia. And I will not tolerate transphobia, either.
Nor will I support those who do. A Pagan community that tolerates any of these things or the myriad of other ways humans choose to hate each other is not my Pagan community.
I stand with my transgender siblings, Pagan and non, polytheist or monotheist or atheist.