Deacon Ray Dever is the parent of a transgender daughter and a bisexual daughter, and serves pastorally St. Paul Catholic Church in Tampa, Florida.
Deacon Dever provides counsel to Catholic schools and parishes across the US on how to accept and accomodate transgender students. Because of his expert counsel, young people have been able to stay in their schools and families with transgender church members have been accepted in their congregations. As an advocate for transgender members and their families, Deacon Dever has publicly urged the Catholic Church to engage objectively with the science of gender identity and to learn from the lived reality of transgender people.
“Perhaps the institutional church will discover what so many fortunate Catholic families like mine have discovered about their gay or trans children: they are part of God’s beautiful, diverse creation, not aberrations of nature or products of some confused ideology. Their presence in our lives has helped open our eyes to not just the LGBTQ community but to all the marginalized and oppressed people that we as Christians are called to embrace and love.”