Pin It
Pope Francis
Pope Francis is trying to reform the Catholic church's dated attitudes towards LGBT rightsvia Wikimedia Commons

Pope Francis meets with and embraces transgender man

‘World's coolest pontiff’ reportedly welcomed the trans man and his fiancée into the Catholic church

The Catholic church doesn't have the best track record on LGBT rights, what with all that ""homosexuality is a mortal sin" stuff. But Pope "coolest pontiff ever" Francis is apparently trying to reverse centuries of prejudice – he's reportedly met with and embraced a transgender man, telling him that him and his fiancée had a place in the church. 

Diego Neria Lejárraga, 48, told Spanish publication Hoy that he was born and raised a Catholic but found life within the church tough. At one point, he was even called "the devil's daughter" by a priest.

But he was encouraged by Pope Francis's public assertion that lesbians and gays should be integrated within and not marginalised by the church – especially his comment on gay people, "Who am I to judge?" Lejárraga wrote to the Vatican in an attempt to meet the Pope and clarify his standing on trans people.

Pope Francis reportedly phoned Lejárraga and they met at the Vatican last Saturday. Lejárraga asked "Is there a place for me in the house of God?" and the pontiff responded with an embrace.

The Catholic Herald says that the Vatican has not confirmed the meeting – but crucially, it hasn't denied it either. There is of course a long way to go before same-sex relationships and transgender rights are fully respected by the Catholic church and indeed the world, but the story makes positive reading for transgender people of faith.