Hello Members and Supporters of Affirm United. Its King Julez here, and I’m one of your chairs on the board of directors. I’m here to talk to you about the rise of hate across our country and across our ministries. At Affirm United, we denounce this hate. This Homophobia, this Transphobia, Bi-phobia, all of it. We know that denouncing it isn’t enough, so we’re also taking action. Members of our board are meeting with folks from Affirming Connections, as well as the General Council Office at the United Church of Canada, to think about the ways that we can actively support and honour the lives of 2SLGBTQ+ folks in our communities. We are looking at providing educational resources for staff, lay people, and all of your communities to combat hate and to be able to provide safe spaces for folks in your area.
We are collaborating to build this support and to provide everything that we can, because we know that this is a difficult time, in many of our lives, and especially those of us who fall within in the 2SLGBTQ+ community.
We ask that you be our eyes and ears in your various locations. We strive to protect those of you who are victims of this kind of hate and of this discrimination. But we need to know what’s going on as well. Feel free to email our Communications Coordinator, M, at email@example.com, or through our communications portal on our website. We want to know what’s going on. We want to know where it’s happening. We want to know where we can best support you. Please let us in and let us know what we can do and when we can do it.
We are here for you; we are here for all of the people who need it. We are stiving to do the best that we can, and we know that we can always do better.
Thank you for being a part of this community, and for trying your best to protect and create safe space in your communities.
We know that this hate is hard. We know that its continuing to come. We are here. We are powerful and we are strong as a community. Thank you for doing everything that you do.
The Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), also known as the International Transgender Day of Remembrance, has been observed annually (from its inception) on November 20 as a day to memorialize those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia. It is a day to draw attention to the continued violence endured by transgender people.
Transgender Day of Remembrance was founded in 1999 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender woman, to memorialize the murder of transgender woman Rita Hester in Allston, Massachusetts. It has slowly evolved from the web-based project started by Smith into an international day of action. In 2010, TDoR was observed in over 185 cities throughout more than 20 countries.
On November 20, we remember and honour Two-Spirit, trans and non-binary people killed around the world because of hatred and oppression. Affirm United/S’Affirmer Ensemble renews our commitment to fighting transphobia in all its forms.
My name is Eli (EE-lye) Carter-Morgan and I use they-them pronouns. I am here to re-introduce myself as the western Affirming Ministries Co Ordinator. I have had the honour of serving in this role since 2016, but a re-introduction is needed as I am going by a new name and pronouns.
I also hope that this time can be a learning experience for those of you who have never experienced working with someone with a non-binary identity. I am happy to answer any questions or be a part of any local (Edmonton) or online panels if that is helpful.
As a small child I was known by a derivative of my middle name, Annie, or as my double named Elizabeth Anne. With school came the need for something shorter – Elizabeth.
My teen years brought a new identity that fit me better, and I have gone by Liz ever since, though I added a Rev. Before and a Morgan to the end, marking important changes in my life.
I have never fit comfortably within the gender binary, and as time has passed, society has produced different ways of understanding and expressing this. We have always used “they/them” pronouns when unsure of someone’s gender, but it has now become more common. I am agender – which means the category of gender has little meaning when applied to myself. This is one type of non- binary, a type of transsexual.
With new times come new names. The biblical story of the call of Samuel, and the role Eli (EE- lye) plays in that story speak strongly to me, so I will begin going by the name Eli starting July 1.
I recognize that change is difficult, and I expect people will sometimes use the previous names or pronouns. The best thing to do is correct yourself quickly and move on. There is a huge difference between a slip of the tongue and the malicious misgendering that has led to media attention and discipline of employees etc.
I deeply appreciate Linda and Kim helping to support the western ministries this summer as I have been settling back into Edmonton and my new call serving Spirit West United Church.