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Baptist pastor fired after coming out as transgender: 'Not just supposed to be a pastor – I'm supposed to be a woman.'


She's not very happy about it, either

Image source: YouTube screenshot

Rev. Junia Joplin told her Ontario, Canada, congregation in June that she is a transgender woman.

But on Monday, 111 parishioners of her church — Lorne Park Baptist Church in Mississauga — voted 58 to 53 to fire her, according to The New York Times.

Joplin was pastor of the church for six years.

What do we know?

Joplin, 41, delivered the news to her congregation in a Zoom sermon in June, telling congregants that she had a "big, risky truth" to share with them.

Joplin — who previously lived as a male — said that she knew she was destined to be a preacher from a young age.

"I'm not just supposed to be a pastor," she said. "I'm supposed to be a woman."

Elsewhere during the announcement, Joplin said, "I want you to hear me when I tell you that I'm not just supposed to be a pastor. I'm supposed to be a woman. My friends, my family, my name is Junia. You can call me June. I'm a transgender woman and my pronouns are 'she' and 'her.'"

Joplin said she was not immediately certain of the reaction her announcement would garner, but she was confident in her decision to announce her truth.

"If I never work another day in the church again for the rest of my life, I'll know that I've done what I was called to do," she told CBC News after the sermon went live.

In a statement to CBC News, the church in a Wednesday statement said, "The Church has journeyed for the past month through a process of attempting to discern God's will resulting from June's announcement of June 14, 2020 that she is a transgender woman.

"After a month of prayerful discernment and discussions between June and the congregation, it was determined, for theological reasons, that it is not in God's will that June remain as our pastor," the statement concluded.

Joplin groused about the firing Friday on her Twitter page, writing, "When you're not the first out LGBTQ+ staff member at your church, but you're the first one to get fired..."

'A preacher preaches like a fish swims'

According to NOLA.com, Joplin is bound for New Orleans, where she will reportedly preach to the congregation at St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church.

Joplin will fill in for Pastor Elizabeth Lott, who is taking a vacation. Joplin and Lott have been friends for decades, Joplin says.

"A preacher preaches like a fish swims," she says. "On those rare occasions when I'm between churches and not part of a church family, I feel a pain. It (the New Orleans sermon) makes me feel like I'm where I supposed to be."

The outlet reports that Joplin is taking her ouster in stride, but can't deny that she is hurt over the move.

"It was tough," Joplin said. "I've tried to be as gracious as I can. But honestly, it really hurts what has happened."

You can watch Joplin's original June 14 video announcement below.

At Last...Your Truth- a coming out sermon by Rev. Junia Joplinwww.youtube.com

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