Pope Francis is generally viewed positively by the LGBT community, as he is generally progressive.
However, it seems that is progressiveness has a hard limit, as he has criticised transgender people, saying how it’s “terrible” that children are taught they have a “choice” of gender.
He said: “Today, in schools they are teaching this to children – to children! – that everyone can choose their gender.” He also went on to say that transgender visibility and acceptance is down to “ideological colonising” through textbooks.
Pope Francis made these comments in a closed-door meeting with Catholic bishops last week, and he even quoted his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI: “Speaking with Pope Benedict, who is well and has a clear mind, he was telling me, ‘Holiness, this is the epoch of sin against God the Creator, he’s intelligent! God created man and woman, God created the world this way, this way, this way, and we are doing the opposite.’”
However, some of his supporters have come out in defense of Pope Francis, including Jane Fae, a transgender Catholic and expert on Vatican issues. She said it’s possible that Pope Francis isn’t talking about transgender people at all, but is instead referencing “gender roles”.
“I wish he would say what he means.At this moment the Catholic Church does not have an official start on transgender issues. The pope wittering on about something like this is the equivalence of a presidential candidate in America that says things that he knows will play to an audience.”
“Until the Church addresses the issue, and makes an official announcement on transgender people, people will continue to interpret his words from the most liberal to the most conservative. By not taking a position, the pope is able to play to the right wing without actually taking an actual stance. The bottom line is, it’s about bloody time he tells what he means.”
Naturally, his comments have also drawn criticism as well.
Kelsey Louie, CEO of Gay Men’s Health Crisis, had this to say: ““Our children deserve to know that of course they have the right to choose, and GMHC applauds all schools that teach students not to oppress who they are, but instead live the life as the gender they most identify with.”