Transgender man has private audience with Pope Francis

washington blade
Michael K. Lavers
Original Article:

A transgender man from Spain had a private audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Saturday.

Hoy, a newspaper in the Extremadura region of Spain, reported that Diego Neria Lejárraga and his fiancée had a private audience with the pontiff that took place at his official residence.

Neria told Francis in a letter that some of his fellow parishioners at the church he attends in the Spanish city of Plasencia rejected him after he underwent sex-reassignment surgery. He said a priest even called him “the devil’s daughter.”

Francis called Neria on Christmas Eve after receiving his letter.

The private audience took place a month later.

“After hearing him on many occasions, I felt that he would listen to me,” Neria told Hoy in an interview the newspaper published on Sunday.

The meeting took place against the backdrop of what many LGBT Catholics have described as the Vatican’s more moderate tone on marriage rights for same-sex couples and other issues since Francis became pope nearly two years ago.

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