Discrimination against Trans people in the Sangha


Hi, I am confused about your statement. Could you clarify it for me, please?


In my view, we have to look at why sex and gender minorities are disincluded. It is all good and nice to spin a narrative about social acceptability and the respectability of the sangha in the eyes of lay adherents, but those are not generally the reasons given in Buddhist texts as to why sex and gender minorities should be denied instruction, denied friendship, and sometimes even denied any form of association (i.e. shunning). Generally, when sex and gender minorities are elaborated upon, prohibitions as to association et al. with them are generally lies about them, that they are poor “spiritual friends”, that they can’t meditate, that they can’t understand the dharma. Because the just “can’t.”

In Chinese Buddhism there is a whole class of outcasts, demons, criminals, and sex and gender minorities who are called “the ten destroyers of the dharma.” How does it feel to be lumped in with demons, ghouls, and all manner of supernatural terrors that disturb good meditators? I don’t find it particularly flattering or truthful. So we need to look at the reasons. Its not really about social acceptability. It is about lies being told, retold, spread, about sex and gender minorities by a powerful and hegemonic religious institution. In this case, the sangha.


Well…Um, I’m trying to adapt! Also why I have adopted the term “Freak” as an empowerment. According to my DNA, I am also a little black and a little Jewish. So many reasons to be rejected by… well lots of people and groups. But I am developing a proper sort of detachment about the importance of inclusion.

I know I belong here. Metta!
Thanks for your explanation, and your support


Have you heard the saying ‘do not try to cover the earth with leather, just cover both your feet with it’!


Got it! Thanks Mat, that sounds like the Right View!


You’re writing as if they were denied Dhamma, which is not correct. Participation in monastic Sangha isn’t a requirement for advancements on N8P. As you may know, there are multiple mentions of lay non-returners. Even considering arahatship, there’s something like “if a lay person becomes fully enlightened, he will either become a recluse/bhikkhu the same day, or die”. I don’t remember whether this is a commentary or a sutta, but anyway. Sangha as an institution is a different thing. Let’s silence our modern narrative for a second and contemplate for a bit on a fact that Buddha even never openly criticized slavery. Buddha explicitly set as a rule that parental permission is needed to join Sangha for those who are only child, if I remember correctly. But hey, that all is not interesting when there is discrimination for gender minorities, right? :wink: Oh gods, how deeply rooted the ideas are in the minds of humans.

Anyway, this starts to look as offtop.


Preparation for practice, yes a sort of Right view! Look at this ‘fathom long body’ for the ‘solution’- look internally.


This is actually correct, not incorrect, of most Buddhist society in India while Buddhism was still being practiced. And the reasons for sex and gender minorities’ disinclusion still stands (i.e. various lies concerning the ethics, wisdom, and concentration of these peoples abundant in post-canonical works). I’m headed to work and don’t have data for the rest of the month, so we’ll have to wait until later tonight so discuss the matter more.


So as this wonderful discussion loses momentum, it would appear that the simple answer is a resounding, “Yes!”
And thanks to your support, I am Okay with that.

In summation:


It’s worth recalling what @vimalanyani said earlier:

It is one thing to seek ordination, but if you seek simply to join a lay “sangha,” there should be no restrictions placed on your participation.

By the way, I attend services at my local (Thai) Wat on a regular basis. A feature of weekly services is taking the Five Precepts. As far as I know, no one checks up on laypeople to make sure they are actually adhering to those precepts. The nice thing about Buddhism is that there does not appear to be a whole lot of monitoring of personal behavior outside of a monastic community.


I did not think there would be restrictions either. But you did read my original post? It was about creating a sangha in my rural area. I just could not bring myself to be in a sangha with people who might or might not approve of me.
I think I will stick to this:
" 329. If for company you cannot find a wise and prudent friend who leads a good life, then, like a king who leaves behind a conquered kingdom, or like a lone elephant in the elephant forest, you should go your way alone .

  1. Better it is to live alone; there is no fellowship with a fool . Live alone and do no evil; be carefree like an elephant in the elephant forest."

With Metta!


Dear Rosie,

I acknowledge the hurt and disappointment you are feeling. But regarding this collection of parts of all the posts - I have to say it isn’t balanced. You’ve picked bits and pieces to support one view, only reflecting a small portion of what was offered. That’s ok :slight_smile: just as long as you are aware of that fact.

With Metta and Karuna, and lots of :sparkling_heart: :sunflower: :butterfly: :sun_with_face:

PS. None of us know what others think of us - And it changes all the time :slight_smile:


Dear Rosie,

This teaching by Ajahn Brahmali may be of interest to you :slight_smile: I love the gentle and positive attitude towards developing spiritual qualities :slight_smile:


I understand. I was somewhat slanted in my summation. Guess I might have made a good lawyer. But thanks for pointing that out. You are an awesome moderator




maybe this is off topic but just to say the Buddha talked against slavery. Perhaps it was the first open rejection to that. Although also one should keep in mind the Buddha times were 2.500 years ago, and no the present times. At those times the borders between slaves and servants in India and other places were quite blurred.

That type of slavery was very different than the slavery of only 200 years ago, popular because cinema films etc. This modern, recent slavery, it was much more harder than in Buddha times. Mainly because 200 years ago in this later economic empire started the pseudoscience of biological racism, and it was absent previously.

In previous times the people was under slavery because birth in slavery, conquest or religion. No because any biological trend. Then the rich african black people had white and black slaves, and also the rich western white people had white and black slaves,without biological considerations to be human inferior or closer to animals. This notion was invented in the British Empire coinciding with a new adherence to Science in front the obsolete religion.

The apparent progress of this civilization has many sides. And in some of them the appareance of progress has hided clear traces of an involution.