I was told this morning that David Ould (the vocal Senior Associate Minister of the Anglican Cathedral of Parramatta) is once more writing about myself and my marriage and making statements which are a mixture of provocation and exaggeration. This is despite David never having met me, never mind talked to me about this or other things. I will not post a link as I do not like to encourage an audience for his blog. I do wish to state however that several of his statements about my Archbishop and diocese are wrong or misleading and his words should thus be treated as malicious. Sadly - as his column freely admits - such aggression is a consequence of confusion caused by the Australian Anglican Primate's recent action towards another priest (who also happens to be trans, just as some of us have other differing characteristics), particularly the Archbishop's misuse of the term 'same-sex marriage'...
Trans people were explicitly excluded by General Synod and the Doctrine Commission in recent considerations and approaches to marriage in the Anglican Church of Australia. Trans people who are married do have a number of positive things to say about marriage as a whole if we are allowed to speak, but it is an offence against natural justice now to react against us as 'same-sex', particularly having agreed to define 'same-sex marriage' in strictly binary cis-gender terms.
For the record, I was baptised, confirmed, married, and ordained in the Anglican Church and none of those things have changed, nor will they as they are acts of God's grace. I strongly resent the novel suggestion that I should have to choose between my gender identity, marriage or priesthood, each of which are integral to the person I am and together make me a better person and minister. Despite working with many troubled issues in people's lives, I have never been a subject of disciplinary process in 35 years of ministry among all kinds of different people. I have broken no canon or church policy regarding gender identity as I am aware, as a professional church historian, that they simply have not existed.
I recently renewed my marriage vows (see photo above) and I am deeply thankful for my wife and so many wonderful people in my diocese. I fervently hope and pray that I and other gender diverse people may not be made into a 'problem' for the Church. It is bad enough there is still debate over 'same-sex marriage'. Let no one make this situation worse. Affirming trans care is now established as the best model for living. It is about healing. Let all in the Church concentrate on that.
The Revd Dr Jo Inkpin: