What does the church and society do with those of us who do not fit into the binary of male and female in our bodies, identities, and expression? Often times we are not welcomed onto the “Ark” because our embodiment of gender and sexual expression challenges people to recognize that gender and expression are more complex and fluid then the narrow, dehumanizing notion of binaries. Within Catholicism, many of us are not even recognized by the Church’s hierarchy or by the wider community of faith; there are no teachings that address transgender or bisexuality; it’s as if we don’t exist and who are as people is not recognized, affirmed, or celebrated. Given the Church’s track record on sexuality related issues, perhaps silence is best???
If, however, G-d created animals to have diverse gender and sexual expression as Isabella Rossellini demonstrates, wouldn’t this also ripple into humanity? Intersex, Transgender, Asexual, Bisexual—our bodies, our identities, our lives, and our loves are created by G-d. Like the diversity of animals that Ms. Rossellini portrays, creation is an awesome wonder of complexity…creation is something that is, not was. G-d creates human beings in G-d’s image, from G-d both male and female are birthed into existence. What does it mean to be created in the image of a G-d who is both male and female? Why do church and religious circles narrow and limit G-d to a strict and restrictive perception of maleness and by doing so impose a marginalizing masculinity as the ideal on the faithful? If human beings are a reflection of G-d, then G-d must be so much more than our traditions, doctrines, statues, and paintings. All of us, each and everyone one of us…male, female, two-spirited, cisgender, transgender, asexual, bisexual, pansexual, heterosexual, homosexual, queer, questioning, gender-nonconforming…we are all created in the image of a G-d who is somewhere in between and beyond society’s understanding of gender and sexual expression.
May we all remember that our diversity is a beautiful reflection of the diversity that is G-d and is in G-d. Our faith-filled challenge is to live out the words of poet and prophet Dr Maya Angelou, “While I know myself as a creation of God, I am also obligated to realize and remember that everyone else and everything else are also God’s creation.”