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.