A regional body of the United Methodist Church has ordained a transgender individual who doesn’t identify as male or female to the position of provisional deacon.  The Northern Illinois Conference commissioned M Barclay, who serves as director of communications for the pro-LGBT advocacy group Reconciling Ministries Network, as a provisional deacon on Sunday.

“For so long, I’ve longed to be a pastoral presence in the world — and certainly you can do that without a collar — but we have ordination for a reason, and part of that is that I can publicly identify as a pastor now,” stated Barclay, as reported by United Methodist News Service. “I know it’s not particularly common in The United Methodist Church, but I intend to wear a collar every single day because for a person like me to navigate society in a collar provides some profound and urgently needed pastoral opportunities, particularly for queer and trans people.” READ MORE