This Christian group is helping transgender people pay for ‘life-saving’ surgery
A Christian group is raising money to help transgender people pay for gender-affirming surgeries.
Faithfully LGBT, a group which represents Christians allies, has started a campaign called #TitheTrans with the aim of gathering $10,000 by the end of September.
The proceeds will be donated to the Jim Collins Foundation, a charity founded by trans people which gives grants towards other people’s gender-affirming surgeries.
The campaign, which has already raised more than $1,000, has been launched just days after Donald Trump’s advisers signed the Nashville Statement.
The so-called “Christian manifesto,” which was signed by 150 evangelical Christian leaders, states that “homosexual immorality” and “transgenderism” are sinful.
Eliel Cruz, who founded Faithfully LGBT, said this fundraising effort was in direct response to the Nashville Statement, along with a general trend which has seen evangelical leaders come out against LGBT rights.
Last month, it was found that just one-third of white evangelicals believe that homosexuality should be accepted by society, compared to a majority of Muslims believing the same principle.
Cruz told HuffPost: “I’ve found that many LGBT Christians give their tithe money back to LGBT people instead of the church since, broadly speaking, the evangelical church isn’t doing anything to help the needs of LGBT people.”
A study released last year found that 40 percent of trans people have attempted suicide.
The National Centre for Transgender Equality asked 17,715 people for the survey.
Cruz explained that his campaign was a way for accepting Christians to show their support for the LGBT community.
“It’s hard for Christians in general to make reparations when far too many Christians are still actively promoting theology that harms trans people.
“But for the growing number of Christians who have come to a better understanding of scripture around same-sex relationships and gender identity – an understanding that is life giving and affirming – this is a way to tangibly give back.”
The money is vital for trans people who want surgery but can’t afford costs which can spiral to as much as $90,000.
In a statement, the Jim Collins Foundation said: “For those who do need surgeries in order to be at peace in their own bodies, it can be hard to gain access”.
“Discrimination against transgender people is so prevalent that many transgender people struggle to survive, never mind save for surgery costs.
“Even for those who have health insurance, coverage is systematically denied,” it continued.
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“Many insurance policies contain a ‘Transsexual Exclusion Clause’ which excludes all medical procedures related to a person’s transgender status.
“For many transgender people, access to surgery is out of reach.”
The statement added: “Thank you to all who are sharing and contributing to this campaign.
“You may be saving lives.”
If you’re not convinced, here’s the fundraising video: