Transfaith partners with Trans*Buddhists
Transfaith is delighted to announce our formal partnership with Trans*Buddhists.
Trans*Buddhists is a small collective of Buddhist practitioners from different traditions based in New York City who seek to address systemic exclusion of transgender and gender nonconforming people from Buddhist spaces. Founded in 2013, Trans*Buddhists' first project was the development of the Developing Trans*Competence guide.
"We are excited to partner with Transfaith in order to work more closely with trans and gender non-conforming people of many different faiths and spiritual traditions, and learn from and support one another," said Finn Schubert, who is a co-organizer of Trans*Buddhists along with Chance Krempasky and Eloise Mayton.
Building on the launch of their guide, Trans*Buddhists works to support all sanghas in having the information and resources they need to be welcoming to trans*people. In addition to continuing to circulate and share the guide, they have begun offering in-person workshops on contemplating gendered experience, perceptions of the identity of self and other, and the impacts of these perceptions.
Trans*Buddhists also work to create a forum for trans* practitioners to receive help with challenges related to residential practice logistics and community-related issues, as well as to discuss their personal spiritual practices. They host regular online video chats for trans*Buddhists (announced on their email list) and occasional in-person meditation gatherings in NYC.
In an initial burst of collaboration, Trans*Buddhists played a key role in developing content for Transfaith's first myTspirit newsletter, including a profile of Trans*Buddhists co-organizer, Finn Schubert.
"In addition to the welcome opportunities for collaboration and coordination, it is a gift to be able to share in honest conversation with our organizational partners about the challenges of doing this work in movement," says Transfaith Executive Director, Chris Paige, "Most of up just show up looking for our people and somehow we end up struggling to build these institutions to serve folk who have been traumatized by so many other institutions. There are a lot of practical questions that come up as we work to live out our values."
Trans*Buddhists leadership has taken part in Transfaith's initial Being Brave Together leadership retreats exploring values based leadership. Trans*Buddhists articulates their broader vision in this way:
We believe that the refuge and connection available through shared dharma practice hold great healing power and are dedicated to making them more accessible.We recognize the interconnection of struggles experienced by individuals of all social identities, including races, classes, sexual orientations, gender identities, ages, abilities, cultures, and ethnicities. We stand in solidarity with and support other efforts to make Buddhism more inclusive in this country.
Transfaith's organizational partners are groups that share a focus on the intersection of faith and transgender experience. The partnership is a commitment to stay in dialogue and support each other in some basic ways -- networking, content development, and publicity.
Transfaith has had years of informal personal relationships with leaders of a variety of organizations, including involvement in the founding of several transgender religious caucus groups. Our organizational partnerships make these relationships more intentional and visible.