Editor’s note: Sabrina Stratford, who works with the Love Justice International organization to help fight human trafficking in Alaska and around the world, recently rejected an offer to serve as the Youth Engagement Specialist at Covenant House Alaska. She could not, in good conscience, work for an organization that pushes a radical LGBTQ agenda on vulnerable Alaskan youth (Click here to read a recent Alaska Watchman article on this issue). Stratford sent the following letter to Covenant House, explaining why she had serious concerns about the position. It is published here with permission.
SABRINA STRATFORD’S LETTER TO COVENANT HOUSE (Sent Dec. 7, 2022)
Thank you for extending the offer for the position of Youth Engagement Specialist. I think the position is a good fit and I’m grateful. I’ve spent a lot of time in prayer, and I’d like to address my considerations with the team.
My time at the Downtown Hope Center has provided a unique opportunity to work up close with people in parallel situations as the youth served at Covenant House. I’ve been able to test what works for my engagement style and measure results in terms of real outcomes. I know that the individuals who build a relationship with Jesus Christ alongside participation in one of our training programs have a very high chance of becoming healthy, independent citizens. Without that transformation we see them return to the shelter time and time again.
My concern is around any limits we might have in sharing one’s testimony and the practice of asking a child what their preferred pronouns are when we meet. Fivefold increases in trans-identifying kids and teens are being reported in gender clinics in the United States and other countries – especially for young girls. This surge indicates that adopting a transgender identity has become the newest way for teen girls to express feelings of discomfort with their bodies. I consider this trend to be an attack on feminism. Women are good enough as we are – we don’t need to transition into a man to be our best selves. By encouraging this dysphoria, we’re seeing many young women seek transition after coming to identify as transgender. Transition can have extreme consequences and we’re seeing negative outcomes. I’m not suggesting we limit the care of Transgender youth. I’m suggesting we not willfully feed into a potentially harmful phase that will render a child vulnerable. I’m suggesting that the increased suicide rate isn’t due to misgendering but to questioning our created identity.
The bottom line is we do not yet know the best and most healthy way to respond to this epidemic. I cannot be on the wrong side of history by promoting something that is so clearly against the truth I know as a follower of Christ and His Word. I will listen intently and engage with anyone with humility and respect. I will call an individual by any proper name they wish. But entertaining the idea that a young person is a “they” or a biological he, a she, I will not do. We are all children of God – created in His image, male and female He created us. Christians are not just called to love, but to speak the truth in love. I will be the first to condemn acts of hatred or words of derision toward people struggling with their gender identity. I will also bring the message of hope and truth by affirming the Word of God. I believe that God created human beings as either male or female, that this gender is fixed in each person from the moment of conception, and that it cannot be changed, regardless of an individual’s feelings, desires, hormone therapies, or operations. The fact that there are now over one hundred different options for one’s gender identity indicates that we have lost our way.
Do you think my ethics will interfere with my role at The Covenant House?