This week 3 big pieces of legislation protecting transgender rights were signed by Gov Murphy. In this episode of Wine, Women, and Revolution, Heather is joined by Rev Blake Spencer to discuss the fight for transgender rights in South Jersey as well as Rev Blake’s journey to becoming a warrior for the LGBTQ community. Sometimes allies are found in the places you might not always expect.
An Introduction to Transgender Rights Activism
Rev. Blake Spencer started his journey in Texas with a desire to be a pastor. He married a woman for a time and had children he adores. He regrets nothing about that phase of his life. Blake did come to realize he was a gay man and needed to be his authentic self. After a time of reflection and searching he came to NJ and became the pastor at Ocean Heights Presbyterian Church. Although he was already active in LGBT activism through his church, he had to play catch up on transgender rights when a new member joined his flock. A mother brought her daughter to church one Sunday and informed Black her daughter was transgender. Pastor Blake made it his mission to learn everything he could, so he could guide his church to a place of love and acceptance.
School Board Fight
A local school in Egg Harbor township planned to pass a policy to protect transgender students in school. The policy drew many supporters, but sadly attracted the attention of another local church opposed. Rev Blake agreed to come to a school board meeting and speak as a man of faith from a place of love to counter the other church’s hate. The final showdown happened in a school cafeteria. Supporters dressed all in white lined one side of the room. The opposition donned all red and sat on the far side. One by one people took the microphone and told their stories. People in the audience shed tears while others poured their hearts out. Sadly the school board did not pass the transgender inclusive policy. This fight is not over. Blake as well as community members will not stop until all children are protected and allowed to be themselves.
Blake is touching, funny, and heartfelt. You are really going to like this guy.
Listen to other speakers about transgender rights here