San Francisco pastor becomes 1st openly transgender bishop in U.S.

Bay Area

This undated selfie photo provided in May 2021 shows the Rev. Megan Rohrer, who was elected bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Sierra Pacific synod on Saturday, May 8, 2021, becoming the first transgender person to serve as bishop in the denomination or in any of the U.S.’ major Christian faiths. (Meghan Rohrer via AP)

(RNS) — The Rev. Megan Rohrer was elected bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Sierra Pacific synod on Saturday (May 8), becoming the first transgender person to serve as bishop in the denomination or in any of the U.S.’ major Christian faiths.

Rohrer, pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in San Francisco and community chaplain coordinator for the San Francisco Police Department, was the first transgender person to be ordained in the ELCA in 2006 and the first to serve as a pastor when called to Grace Lutheran in 2014.

Well known for advocating for LGBTQ rights in street activism, preaching and writing, Rohrer, 41, who uses the pronouns they and them, is also recognized for their work with the homeless. They have also attained minor celebrity status stemming from appearances on the television series “Queer Eye” and in profiles in Time magazine and Cosmopolitan, where they recounted their struggles as a young LGBTQ Christian and as a person coming to terms physically and spiritually with their gender.

“It’s an honor to be called to serve the Sierra Pacific Synod,” Rohrer said to Religion News Service in a written statement. “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.”


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