First openly trans bishop elected to Evangelical Lutheran church says ‘this call is bigger’ than them
The US Lutheran church has elected its first openly trans bishop, Megan Rohrer, marking the first time a major Christian denomination has had an openly trans leader.
Rohrer, 41, will lead the Sacramento, California-based Sierra Pacific synod, which covers almost 200 different congregations in California and Nevada, for a six-year term. They said they hoped that people would have faith in them as Jesus has faith in them.
“I am humbled and honoured, and aware that this call is bigger than me,” Megan Rohrer said in a speech after he was elected as bishop on Saturday (8 May).
“My hope is that your grandkids will call you, and your kids will call you, and your friends will call you, and ask you about your faith,” they said. “And when they call, tell them how much you love Jesus and why Jesus’ faith in you meant why you could have faith in me.”
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America banned LGBT+ pastors from serving openly until 2010.
Rohrer is currently the pastor at San Francisco’s Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, as well as a community chaplain coordinator for the city’s police department. When he was elected leader of the Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in 2014 he became the first openly trans leader at that level of the Lutheran church.
But their journey within the church hasn’t always been easy. Back in college, when he identified as a lesbian, Rohrer was targeted by his peers for their sexuality.
“The people who were in my religion classes with me would sing hymns when I walked by, to try to get rid of my gay demons. And I would just sing harmony. I didn’t know what to do,” they told KALW in 2014.
Megan Rohrer told NPR: “I am honored and humbled by the Synod’s affirmation of my leadership skills. And, I am delighted that my election points to the unending love God has for Their fabulously diverse creation.”