A new campaign is asking Christians to fund gender-confirmation procedures for transgender people as a form of reparations for past discrimination.
"There needs to be tangible ways that progressive Christians, who disagree with anti-trans theology, give to the transgender community," says Eliel Cruz, founder of Faithfully LGBT. "I want Tithe Trans to be a way for Christians to begin to pay reparations for the damage we have caused."
Transition-related surgery can cost in excess of $90,000, but many insurance companies refuse to cover them. And nearly 20% of transgender people lack any form of health insurance.
The trans community also faces disproportionately high rates of poverty, with an unemployment level that's three times the national average.
"Christians have disparaged the bodies of trans people, which has contributed to a culture of violence against them," reads a statement on the Tithe Trans fundraising site. "From promoting anti-trans bathroom legislation to theology that has lead to suicides and homelessness.For those Christians who have seen this violence and have been horrified by it, it’s time to put your tithe money where your beliefs are."
Donations will be directed to the Jim Collins Foundation, a nonprofit that provides grants for gender-confirming procedures. Organizers have set a fundraising goal of $10,000, and while #TitheTrans is targeting Christians, the initiative is open to anyone.
"By helping transgender people get the health care they need, we are giving people hope and saving lives," says foundation co-founder Dru Levasseurl.