His Holiness Pope Francis December 18, 2016
Dear Pope Francis,
You might recognize that I have written to you several times over the past year. My name is Rhiannon Tibbetts and I live in Madison, Wisconsin, USA. You might also remember that I am a male-to-female transsexual, that I am a devout Christian (American Baptist Church member), that I am poor and that I suffer from mental illness.
Although I am not a Catholic, I understand that you are someone that people listen to and that you are bringing a positive, breath-of-fresh-air to our world-wide Christian perspective and discourse. I have been a little critical in the past, but today I am writing to thank you for some perceived, new openness towards my Trans community as well as to ask you to show a little further understanding towards my brothers and sisters.
I am hoping that you might grant us the idea that we are not bringing to the world a social agenda to press upon the general populace. We are just hoping to carve out a sense of justice and social viability for our community. As a group we are not unreasonable or amoral, we really do care about our neighbors and our fellow world citizens. We understand that children are vulnerable in many ways and we would not want to corrupt them or harm them. There are safeguards in place within the health professions, school systems and general communities that protect our children. No person with any sense of sanity would capriciously decide to transition to the opposite gender. It is always a difficult decision and nobody can do it without supervision.
I think you spoke out about schools teaching gender theory. I would share some of your concerns about teaching about gender or sexuality at too young of an age. I would hope that most schools are considering age when they consider their curriculum. I feel, though, that when our young people are mature enough, that it is worthwhile to give them a depth of understanding and background in order to make their own informed decisions and opinions. Would you have wanted to have had holes in your own educational background?
These days, the trans community is under attack more than ever. Many people feel threatened by us, misunderstand us, feel uncomfortable with us and find us to be a ready target for hate. I am really fearful for my future as well as for the well-being of many vulnerable people throughout the world. I hope that you will continue your strong work towards social justice and I beg that you include the transgender community within that circle of care. We have much potential value but we are quite susceptible to attack. Jesus never turned away anyone that sought to follow him. I am just such a person. Please continue to be a voice for faith, hope and love, as well as for peace and justice! Will you join in my urgent prayer for God’s mercy upon this World?
Thank You, Rhiannah
What a 58 year-old male-to-female transsexual looks like:
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