After a long process of finding her identity, Megan Rohrer mentions that being transgender feels like being on a pilgrimage, just as visiting a sacred place and trying to learn how to become a better person.
Bishop Megan Rohrer was confident that God was by her side when she was only six years old, and her parents were getting divorced. “I remember feeling his presence and thinking: God is in charge of everything, and everything will be fine,” she said.
Several years later, when doing social work, Megan met a boy at a church who attempted to commit suicide because a bishop told him that if he misbehaved, he would go to hell. The boy confessed to Megan that he still wanted to die because he feared growing up, doing something wrong, and going to hell. Shortly after, Rohrer realized that her mission was to assure children God would always love them. She wanted every child to feel the presence of God, as she had when her parents were getting divorced.
In 2021, when Megan turned 41, she became the first openly transgender person to be appointed as Bishop of one of the main Christian churches in the United States of America. Far from only working as a Bishop of the Sierra Pacific Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, she also dedicates time to art, literature, and her family, integrated by her wife Laurel and her two children (8 and 9 years old).
In a recent interview, Megan spoke about her life as a Bishop and a person who has tried to live ethically, based on one fundamental conviction: “The more honest I am about my identity, the stronger my connection with God.”
Megan was raised in South Dakota, where she attended a Lutheran church. She mentions that living in a place where the climate fluctuates unexpectedly shapes people’s faith in God since they lack control over their crops and strongly rely on God for survival.
Regarding her sexual identity, Rohrer mentioned that when she was growing up, she felt uncomfortable with her body, but this feeling stayed with her even throughout adulthood. Nowadays, she describes her awareness of being a transgender person as the constant sensation of strangeness that comes with puberty, transcending into other stages of her life. It all became more complex when Rohrer started questioning how she imagined her sexual life or what kind of romantic relationship she wanted to have. She even wondered if her loved one would eventually like her body.
After a long process of finding her identity, Megan mentions that being transgender feels like being on a pilgrimage, just as visiting a sacred place and trying to learn how to become a better person. “Being a transgender person feels like being on a road or process, rather than in a fixed place. We are facing changes all the time”, she said. “For me, being transgender is trying to be as authentic as I can, although I cannot even imagine how hard it must be to be born trans in an unsafe place or within a family or community that wouldn’t accept me as I am.”
Concerning her relationship with God, Megan mentions that being queer has strengthened her faith in God because learning about the path of love has helped her become more honest about who she is and authentically connect with God. “If you believe that the world can only look a certain way, you miss creation’s complexity, beauty, and colors. You don’t have to love yourself 100%, but you can always find a way to love yourself more and be thankful to God for your essence and uniqueness”.
Megan stands as an example of authenticity and self-love, and her appointment as Bishop shows that the Lutheran Church is taking a step toward inclusion and diversity!