(UPDATE-2) Don’t donate to anti-transgender Salvation Army this holiday season

SALVATION ARMYLEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS — The Salvation Army’s legendary anti-transgender/LGBT stance is particularly belittling to transgender people from a basic human need standpoint. As class of people, trans people are among the most in dire need of economic, housing, food and other basic necessities, yet they must deny their own identities if they are to stay alive when it comes to assistance from the Salvation Army.

One could argue the one with the money makes the rules. But it’s not as simple as that. The Salvation Army has become one of the world’s largest charities in collecting contributions from the public. They succeed at this by using marketing campaigns pretending to do good, especially around the holidays — but what many don’t know, is after taking the money, they attach their own moral views and political agendas to the funds and dispense it accordingly.

Before you toss some coins into a red kettle, consider this little incident that happened last summer in Australia — two LGBT journalists were interviewing one of the organization’s Australian media relations directors, Major Andrew Craibe on a radio program:

[Journalist]: According to the Salvation Army, [gay people] deserve death. How do you respond to that, as part of your doctrine?

Craibe: Well, that’s a part of our belief system.

[Journalist]: So we should die.

Craibe: You know, we have an alignment to the Scriptures, but that’s our belief.

The Salvation Army, of course, later backtracked, including the pulling out of the oft-used excuse of meaning  ‘spiritual death, not an actual death.’

Don’t be fooled. There are better organizations to donate your money to.


UPDATE: Dec. 12, 2013. From TransGriot:

“[In 2008,] transwoman Jennifer Gale was found dead sleeping on an Austin sidewalk outside a homeless shelter run by the Salvation Army. . . .

The reason she was outside on the sidewalk instead of inside the shelter is because they would not allow her to be housed with the women because of genitalia incongruent with her gender presentation.  She would have been forced by their policies to be housed with cisgender men.

Austin was in the grip of unseasonable cold in 2008, and the postulation by EMT’s is the near freezing temperatures helped trigger the heart attack that killed her. . . .”



UPDATE-2 May, 2014 – From Lexie Cannes State of Trans:

“Jodielynn Wiley, run out of a small town for being transgender, tried to seek safety in Dallas, Texas. After finding emergency shelter, the Salvation Army initially told her she couldn’t seek long term housing there because her lack of surgery disqualified her. Although the SA later backtracked on that comment, they continued to place newer applicants into long-term housing, bypassing her.”

More: https://lexiecannes.com/2014/05/04/wondering-if-the-salvation-army-is-trans-friendly-yet-theyre-not/


An earlier report I wrote about the Salvation Army: https://lexiecannes.wordpress.com/2011/11/25/lets-not-forget-the-salvation-army-discriminates-against-us/

More about the Australian incident: Salvation Army Official: Gays Deserve Death – Global – The Atlantic Wire.


Watch LEXIE CANNES right now: http://www.amazon.com/Lexie-Cannes-CourtneyODonnell/dp/B00KEYH3LQ Or get the DVD: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0963781332   

LEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS is associated with Wipe Out Transphobia: http://www.wipeouttransphobia.com/

Read Lexie Cannes in The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/courtney-odonnell/

Categories: Discrimination, Equality, Civil Rights, Transgender, Transsexual, Trans

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

26 replies

  1. Thanks for the reminder. No way in H*** would I donate to a group that wants me dead!!

  2. I should have used part of that line in the headline . . .

  3. Thanks Lexie. Put it on Tumblr – it should go viral

  4. Thanks for the heads up about this Lexie.
    It is always such a horrible thing when one organization’s
    belief system affects our population in such a negative way.
    I hope that many more people can see this story and help
    stop this type of discrimination.

  5. Thanks for the comments all! All my articles also go up on tumblr!

  6. Don’t blame a whole organisation for what one person said.

    • That “one person” was a Media Director. The Salvation Army is no friend of trans/Lgbt people.

    • the WHOLE organization is VERY anti-trans!!! MY experience w/Salvation Army Homeless Shelter in downtown LA Skid Row almost led me to suicide; they refused to allow me into a food & clothing giveaway in the woman’s “side”, in the common room-although i had LEGAL ID saying i was jenifer & female… and they called me a man and a faggot as well- they threatened to call the police & they had two BIG MALE guards roughly eject me out of the premises by pushing and assaulting me…

  7. Several years ago I was heading up a bisexual resource organization and I mentioned the fact that the SA blatently discriminates against the GLBT community on a routine basis. The people in that meeting were stunned. I was hoping that the SA would change their stance on the gay community, but I guess they’re stuck on stupid. Now every time I pass a bell ringer at a grocery store or mall, I tell them I refuse to support such a bigoted and discriminatory organization. SA – when you decide to pull your head out of your arse, let the world know, would you?!

  8. And people wonder why I say the world would be a better place without xtianity…

    • More like a better world without religion. The fact that people died because of their interpretation of the faith completely goes against what Jesus represented. He never saw himself above the world, called out the church when they were in the wrong (often) and would sit side by side with people society would punish simply for existing. If Jesus were alive today, I think he’d have more issues with the megachurches and opulence of certain ministers than with the LGBT community.

    • What is xtianity? Do U mean Christianity?

  9. As an atheist, I have no stake in the Salvation Army. I have always admired them for the simple reason that they actually practice what they preach; their CEO makes almost nothing compared to other large charity CEO’s, and almost 95% of every dollar donated winds up as a benefit to someone poor or indigent. Yep, like the rest of Christian organizations, they are pretty intolerant regarding GLBT people. CharityNavigator.org has data on some GLBT charities, though. When I consider CEO compensation from GLBT organizations like the National GL Task force (budget, $6M, CEO pay $232K) or the GL Leadership Institute’s CEO taking more than 6.5% of the budget just for salary, I think the ration of “benefit to humanity per dollar raised and spent” is much higher at the SA than at some of the GLBT organizations.

    There is no rule that says you have to give to the SA; I’ve rung a bell for them in the past, and I would do it again. If we are going to become so hateful that we need to spit in the faces of people ringing a bell for those in need because the organization chooses to follow their religious beliefs, then we’re in a pretty sad place. There are shelters in every city, and the SA runs theirs the way they want to. For the screeching liberals condemning the SA for turning Jennifer Gale away, please feel free to buy the land, build the shelter, heat it, fumigate it as needed, stock it with food and beds and hot water and soap and the thousand details needed to be an effective charity, and take in the Gale’s of this world.

    You can write hateful things about the SA, but where is your shelter for the next Jennifer Gale?

  10. This a generalization of The Salvation Army and it angers me. The only reason I was able to move out of home is because of a local program that helps abused young people move out. The place doesn’t have any correlations to religion and even the higher ups headquarters nearby aren’t associated with such.
    Ps. I AM trans. This article is an insult.

  11. [deleted by moderator due to ad hominem comments]

  12. At the very beginning of my transition I ended up in our local SA shelter when my PO determined my housing to be unsatisfactory. Corrections has a block of rooms paid for there. While forced to share a room with 3 men, my case worker there recognized my preferred name and gender and had all charting changed and all staff there respected this. I was reffered to permanent housing with SA supervision ( on site caseworker) and have had this apartment 3 years now, which has allowed me to pursue treatment and education of my own choosing. This has more than saved my life, it has allowed me improve. There has been no pressure to believe as SA does, or at all for that matter. It has been a good experience for me and all SA staff involved. The abuses that have occurred are not the whole story. There is hope of radical change.


  1. My Views on the Salvation Army | A budding journalist
  2. An unexpected twist in the saga of resigned transgender NH State Rep.-elect Stacie Laughton « The Guerrilla Angel Report by Lexie Cannes
  3. Courtney O’Donnell: Readers’ Top 12 Transgender Stories of 2012 | US Mag - The Breaking News
  4. Courtney O’Donnell: Readers’ Top 12 Transgender Stories of 2012 | | DigaNewsDigaNews
  5. Readers’ Top 12 Transgender Stories of 2012 « Women Born Transsexual
  6. Wondering if the Salvation Army is trans-friendly yet? (They’re not) « LEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS

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