Lutheran Church elects first US transgender bishop in Sacramento: “People sang hymns to try to get rid of my gay demons”
The Rev. Megan Rohrer has been elected as a bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America serving the Sierra Pacific synod, based in Sacramento, California.
AS NPR reported, Rohrer will be the bishop for close to 200 congregations in Central and Northern California and northern Nevada.
“I am humbled and honored, and aware that this call is bigger than me. 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. 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,” Rohrer said in a speech after the results were in on Saturday.
The 41-year-old bishop-elect currently serving as a pastor and as a community chaplain coordinator for the city's police department said for the Religion News Service in a written statement that “it’s an honor to be called to serve the Sierra Pacific Synod. During this time when some imagine trans people at their worst, Lutherans have once again declared that transgender people are beautiful children of God. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for me and my family as I accept this call.”
The Rev. Megan Rohrer has become the first openly transgender person in the U.S to be elected as a bishop by a major Christian denomination. Bishops are elected to six-year terms.
After coming out as lesbian while attending a Lutheran college in Sioux Falls, Rohrer shared with KALW in 2014 that they were harassed by peers, who often thought their identity was something that needed curing.
“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 said.
However, Rohrer stated for Cosmopolitan in 2017 that all the abuse directed at their identity simply served to strengthen their decision to pursue religious education “to vocalize what I knew in my gut was ok.”
“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,”, they told NPR after the successful election for the Sacramento-based Sierra Pacific synod.