"The church has not easily embraced those like Junia Joplin"
June 27, 2020 3:27 PM Subscribe
Vox's Emily VanDerWerff: A trans Christian minister came out in a sermon. Now, she’s bracing for what comes next.
I spoke with June on the evening of Saturday, June 13, less than 12 hours before she would leave her current wilderness and enter another entirely, by coming out in the form of a sermon. She’s been asked several times by the clergy she’s trusted enough to confide in why, precisely, she wanted to come out in a sermon, rather than telling her church’s leadership board, then going on up through the denomination’s official chain of command to let everyone know she would be transitioning. Only then would she come out, possibly in a sermon, if everybody was cool with that.Thanks to COVID-19, Rev. Joplin's coming out sermon is on YouTube.
The truth is that this plan is June’s best chance at keeping her job. When I asked her why she wasn’t going through official channels, she rattled off the names of several trans women pastors who tried to do so and were summarily removed from their jobs, before they could become a news story and create an uncomfortable situation for their churches.
So here I am. This is now a news story. You are part of June’s story, too, her bulwark against an easy dismissal.