By Kayley Whalen
While I was marching in DC's Capital Pride this year, a trans ally watching the parade tried handing me a sticker that said "God Made Me Trans." As an atheist transgender woman, the gracious gesture simultaneously warmed my heart and stirred up a sense of outrage at the assumption that I needed a higher power to validate my gender identity. I told them, no, I can't take the sticker, and yet they kept thrusting it at me, trying to stick it on me like a game of pin the tail on the donkey. But the parade was moving forward, and rather than engaging them in a more productive dialogue about how their religious values mirrored many of my humanist values, I took the easy way out and quickly ducked away back into my contingent in the parade.
The LGBT movement has in the last few years made enormous strides in utilizing interfaith grassroots organizing to build support for marriage equality amongst religious communities and to make religious congregations more welcoming to all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. For example, The United for Marriage Coalition, which held rallies and events around the country during the Supreme Court hearings in March on Proposition Eight and the Defense of Marriage Act, included numerous religious voices. Many of the events the United for Marriage Coalition has planned for the upcoming "Decision Day" will be held in places of worship.