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Perspectives: Transness alone cannot disqualify from godparenting

In a letter to the editor, Aaron Beswick says transgender people cannot be banned from godparenting based simply on simplistic criteria.

An art exhibit by artist Adah Unachukwu at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle in New York City, formerly titled “God is Trans: A Queer Spiritual Journey.” (G. N. Miller/New York Post)

In her letter, Ms. Chinakwe here acts as if parents were choosing random trans folks from off the street as godparents. Folks whom the parents wouldn't otherwise trust as godparents.

Perspectives: Is trans godparenting Biblical?
A letter to the editor from Sara Chinakwe asks how the new Vatican guidelines on LGBTQ+ godparenting squares with Scripture.

I think we can rightly assume that whomever parents choose to serve as godparents—trans or divorced or single parenting or otherwise—are people that those parents trust to steward their child's faith formation and identities as Catholics, neighbors, citizens, friends, siblings, and all the other ways that children grow and change.

To assume by virtue of their trans-ness alone that they can't serve as godparents is prejudicial and discriminatory on its face.

Lots of people in America struggle with their identity. As a Black American man who has come to Catholicism later in life, I've had my fair share of identity struggles—not the least of which is whether I can be “authentically Black and truly Catholic.” Does that preclude me from serving as a godparent?

I don't wish for Mrs. Chinakwe’s message to be removed or for her to be banned or anything. I do want there to be some robust discussion on this point, however. This speech cannot stand alone as the sole message from Black Catholic Messenger.

Aaron Beswick
Chicago, Illinois

“Forgive my error, and please instruct me, for I did not know that the precept of obedience took precedence over that of charity.”
—St. Martín de Porres (1570-1639)

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