LBT Bites: Same-Sex Couple Hired to Lead Historic Congregation, Hate Crime Unlikely in Death of Transgender Woman & More!

Here's the latest in lesbian, bisexual and transgender news!


Lesbian - Same-Sex Couple Hired to Lead Historic DC Baptist Congregation

(EDGE) The Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. announced Monday that they hired a same-sex couple to serve as co-pastors for their historic church. This marks the first time the progressive church has had openly LGBT leadership for its congregation.

Sally Sarratt and Maria Swearingen were presented as Calvary Baptist's senior ministers Sunday, January 8 during morning worship, and were enthusiastically approved to be the church's new leadership team.

Sarratt has been serving as associate chaplain for behavioral health in the Greenville Health System and Swearingen as associate chaplain at Furman University. Sarratt has also been filling the role of part-time associate minister at Greenville Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. Both Sarratt and Swearingen were ordained at their home church, First Baptist Church of Greenville, after it adopted and implemented a non-discrimination policy in 2015.

Sarratt and Swearingen accepted Calvary's call to serve as co-pastors, telling church members: "We have found it so easy to fall in love with Calvary and its longstanding commitment to be a voice of justice and compassion for those who perpetually find the wholeness of their humanity disregarded and maligned."

Sarratt and Swearingen are scheduled to begin their service at Calvary Baptist Church February 26.


Bisexual - Daughter of Christian Radio Host Comes Out with Message of Love

(SFGN) Brandi Burgess, daughter of conservative Christian radio host Rick Burgess, cohost of Birmingham’s “Rick and Bubba Show” wrote a guest column for The Birmingham News on Friday, on what it was like to come out as bisexual to her father:  

For the past three years, my father and I have been debating God’s stance on homosexuality. It started with my Instagram post at a Pride parade. A picture of a mother holding a sign saying “I love my gay son”. I got a text demanding its removal: “How dare you compromise my platform!?”, “Remember who you represent.”, “Are you a gay?”

I have been praying, researching, and meditating on the many emails, sermons, verses my dad has sent me. I always come back to the same conclusion. Love is love. I shared this with him. “I love you. I’m sorry. I still love God.” I promised to be discreet.

Burgess describes her father’s reaction to her coming out as “a constant barrage of shame,” which caused her to withdraw from her family. They finally separated when Burgess was forced to choose between her partner or her family’s values. But she hopes to share a positive message with those in similar struggles. 

So now, I am writing to the young women who feel like they don't belong in their bodies, to the boys who want to kiss boys, and those on the spectrum between:

I love you. Your worth is untouchable. Find a good friend. Invest in therapy. Dance in the middle of the night and hold yourself accountable to the life you've always wanted. At the root of all this hate speech is fear. This is not your fear to carry. Release it.


Transgender - SD Police: Hate Crime Unlikely in Death of Transgender Woman

(AP) Police say it doesn't appear the apparent homicide of a transgender woman in Sioux Falls was a hate crime.

At a briefing Monday, Sioux Falls Police Capt. Blaine Larsen said police don't have any information leading them to believe the death of 28-year-old Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow was related to her gender identity.

KELO-TV says investigators are searching through texts and social media to determine the relationship between Wounded Arrow and the 25-year-old man in custody. Police describe them as acquaintances.

Larsen says security video shows the man entering the victim's apartment. He says a weapon was recovered. The victim's body was found in her Sioux Falls apartment Friday after police were called for a welfare check.

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