Mark Wingfield, a Baptist pastor from Dallas, Texas, explains what led him to become a spokesperson for the transgender community in his talk on gender identity.
He opens by acknowledging the disassociation between the church and the LGBTQ community. He says that although his identity as a straight middle-aged white man from the south makes him an unlikely advocate for the community, his church's studies surrounding inclusion have prompted him to open his mind.
Throughout the process, Mark Wingfield saw members of the church leave and friendships break, however he kept pushing to ask more questions regarding religious acceptance. In his talk on gender identity, he explains that he used his platform as a journalist on a Baptist news website to help combat the misconceptions that can be so harmful to the transgender community.
After Mark Wingfield's articles gained viral traction, he was able to increase his level of communication with those he supported, which allowed him to get an even deeper understanding of them. By describing his own journey, as well as the stories told to him, Mark Wingfield shows that the church should welcome everyone and that a wiliness to listen is of incredible importance.
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