Out Trans Bishop Elected in Evangelical Lutheran Church

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Monday May 10, 2021

For the first time, a major denomination of the Christian faith tradition has elected an out transgender cleric to bishop, NPR has reported.

"The Rev. Megan Rohrer has been elected as a bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America," according to the report, which adds: "Rohrer will serve as bishop of the Sacramento-based Sierra Pacific synod, which encompasses close to 200 congregations in Central and Northern California and northern Nevada."

Bishops in that faith are elected to serve for six years. In response to the results from the May 8 election, Rev. Rohrer said in a speech: "I am humbled and honored, and aware that this call is bigger than me."

Rohrer added: "My hope is that your grandkids will call you, and your kids will call you, and your friends will call you, and ask you about your faith. And when they call, tell them how much you love Jesus and why Jesus' faith in you meant why you could have faith in me."

In a 2014 interview with KALW, Rohrer recalled the harassment they faced from their peers in college. "The people who were in my religion classes with me would sing hymns when I walked by, to try to get rid of my gay demons," they recalled. "And I would just sing harmony. I didn't know what to do."

"In 2006, at a time when the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America banned LGBTQ pastors from serving openly, Rohrer was ordained through an 'extraordinary candidacy process,'" NPR noted. "Their ordainment was officially recognized by the church in 2010 after the ELCA changed its policy."

The bishop-elect comes with a dash of glamor. In 2020, they appeared on an episode of the hit show "Queer Eye."

See more tweets from Rohrer following their election below.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.