A group of nuns have set up a special school for trans people
Churches aren’t always considered welcoming places for LGBT people.
But one amazing church has gone out of their way to help change that.
A church in the district of Kerala, India has set-up a new support group for transgender people in the area.
In mid-December, Sisters of the Congregation of Mother Carmel offered their buildings to form a school for transgender people who had dropped out of education early on.
“The school will cater to those transgender people who had dropped out from schools in their early age due to various reasons,” said trans activist Vijaya Raja Mallika.
It’s thought this is the very first group of its kind in all of India.
“The whole Church has a big role to play,” Paul Madassey, who is in charge of Pro-Life Support for the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council, said.
He told ucanews.com that it was in line with Pope Francis, who had talked about the need to give “pastoral care to the LGBT community.”
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The group, now including priests, nuns and laypeople, have come together to try and help trans people who didn’t get the education they should have because of the challenges they faced.
Figures suggest there are 500,000 transgender people in India, though it could well be much higher.
Mallika, a leading transgender activist in Kerala, is pioneering the initiative.
Mallika said the “church has been very supportive” to their challenges.
“Religion plays an important role in social and behavioural change at the grass-roots level,” said Mallika.
“We don’t stand for exclusion but stand for inclusion along with education and employment support from society and the state.”