Anthony Kirk says he knew ESR was the right seminary for him when he shared his desire to hold a worship service on the Transgender Day of Remembrance. He wanted to honor and remember those who have lost their lives due to hatred and prejudice against transgender people. Members of the ESR community immediately volunteered to help plan the service, prepare the altar, offer music, and read names.
“When I gave that service, our worship room was full of people who were willing to come together after I gave the message and reflect and grieve and mourn together a marginalized community that I am part of that is often ignored and discriminated against both in the church and in our communal life,” he observed.
Anthony earned an M.Div. with a pastoral ministry emphasis and is currently serving as interim pastor at First Friends Meeting here in Richmond.
“When I came to ESR, I made a vow to myself that I would be authentic. It really helped so much in my spiritual and personal growth and ability to speak my own truths.”
Recently, Anthony made a QuakerSpeak video on being a transgender pastor. He shares the profound comfort of God’s acceptance that he finds in Psalm 139.
“If I hadn’t gone to ESR and realized that queer inclusion and being visible is really important to me, I never would have done that,” he commented. “So I owe a lot to ESR for giving me that encouragement to just do it, and that video has helped people. I will always associate ESR with a safe place to be myself and to be able to explore my ministry and be encouraged.”