Church of England Says Boys Can Crossdress, Wear Tiaras, Heels in 'Valuing God's Children' Report
The Church of England, which this past summer voted to affirm transgender people in the church, said in a report aimed at tackling homophobia and transphobia that boys should be allowed to crossdress as part of growing up.
"All bullying, including homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying causes profound damage, leading to higher levels of mental health disorders, self-harm, depression and suicide," Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said on Monday, commenting on the "Valuing All God's Children" report.
"Central to Christian theology is the truth that every single one of us is made in the image of God. Every one of us is loved unconditionally by God. "This guidance helps schools to offer the Christian message of love, joy and celebration of our humanity without exception or exclusion."
In its section on bullying in primary schools, the Church of England Education Office report notes that LGBT children are often targeted. It argues that pupils should be allowed to play "with many cloaks of identity" when growing up without "judgment or derision."
"For example, a child may choose the tutu, princess's tiara and heels and/or the firefighter's helmet, tool belt and superhero cloak without expectation or comment. Childhood has a sacred space for creative self-imagining," it states.
"Children should be afforded freedom from the expectation of permanence.They are in a 'trying on' stage of life, and not yet adult and so no labels need to be fixed.This should inform the language teachers use when they comment, praise or give instructions."
The Church of England also states that it is "essential to provide curriculum opportunities where difference is explored, same-sex relationships, same-sex parenting and transgender issues may be mentioned as a fact in some people's lives."
The report acknowledges that it is likely that not all will agree on issues of human sexuality, gender identity and marriage.
"However, there needs to be a faithful and loving commitment to remain in relationship with the other and honor the dignity of their humanity without 'back turning,' dismissing the other person, or claiming superiority," it states.
While Welby and the CofE have maintained that the definition of marriage is between one man and one woman, in July the General Synod passed a motion that officially welcomed and affirmed transgender people to the church.
Conservative Anglicans, such as the Global Anglican Future Conference, have been speaking out with concern about what they say is pressure on the church to "compromise clear Christian teaching in the face of secular humanist philosophy."
Back in September, Christian parents Nigel and Sally Rowe pulled their child from a CofE school due to the acceptance of transgender students, and what they said was a dismissive responsee from officials regarding their concerns.
Sally Rowe argued that her child was being confused by a classmate born as a male, who then started being recognized as female.
Rowe said that the school "should have provided support for the transgender child in a private way with people who are trained professionals ... and who can work through it with that child rather than just let it happen."
Welby responded to the conservative parents by stating that he doesn't think having transgender pupils at school is a problem, however.
"The other family are making up their own minds. The other child is making up their own mind," Welby positioned. "Talk to your child. Help them to understand. Help them to see what's going on and to be faithful to their own convictions."