Local church hosts ‘Transgender 101’ class

Table of Hope Metropolitan Community Church recently held a "Transgender 101" class. Courtesy KSN News

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Wichita church is taking a big leap when it comes to progression.

Just this week, the Table of Hope Metropolitan Community Church hosted a “Transgender 101” class in hopes of educating the public on different topics related to the transgender community.

The pews at the church were filled with people eager to listen to learn about the transgender community.

“I believe God calls all of us to treat each other with kindness,” said Rev. Jackie Carter, Table of Hope Metropolitan Community Church.

Reverend Carter has been at the church for a decade. She said the class is used for education.

“Part of our purpose is not to tell people that they have to accept trans folk as spiritually their equal if that’s what they don’t want to do, but it is to treat them with kindness and respect,” said Rev. Carter.

Lori Hass brought the idea of the class up to Carter weeks ago for that same reason.

“Wanted to do something to help people in the community to understand just a little information,” said Hass, a student therapist at Friends University.

As part of her job, Hass sees a handful of transgender clients, and she said just simple knowledge on how to address a member of the trans community would go a long way.

“Why is it important to use the right pronouns he, his, she, hers? Why is that important to someone?” asked Hass. “Just ways that people can be kind because I think people don’t know what they don’t know.”

Attendees like Gayle Dinwidde found the meeting very helpful.

“It helps me show people not to judge,” said Dinwiddie. “I have friends that go to this church that are trans. It helps me understand them and the troubles they face and go through.”

Faced with her own struggles over the years, Dinwiddie said she understands what it’s like to be misunderstood.

“I don’t really understand it that much, but I;m willing to accept it, because I get called a dude a lot and stuff like that, and I don’t like it,” explained Dinwiddie.

However, Dinwiddie is hopeful that classes like these will continue to unite the Wichita community.

“It’s a learning experience for the public and I really like it,” she said.

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