Clergy and transvestites

Last night at a meeting we were discussing transitions. All clergy know it is hard to go through a day when your emotions can swing from one extreme to another. We can go from a funeral visit to the birth of a new baby, from planning a childrens’ outing to writing a sermon after a national crisis – all in one day. It can be hard to take account of your emotions and feelings before you move on to the next event.

Someone said that she had come from a school of noisy children to take a funeral, and that it was in putting on the vestments that she was able to make the transition from teacher to priest. The bishop said we were all like transvestites – we sometimes needed the clothes to make us who we are. I’d never thought we were transvestites. I’m sure there are transvestites amongst the clergy – maybe more than in other walks of life – but I’d never thought of it for myself. “Put on the mascara – more mascara!” shouted the bishop. I think he was quoting from La Cages Aux Folles.

I shall look at my fellow clergy and bishops in a new light from now on.

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