Trans spiritual leader Fran Bennett passes away

Fran touched the lives of many people through her work as hospital chaplain, pastoral carer of the sick and dying and LGBTQ+ activist.

Close up of Fran Bennett smiling
Image: Via GCN magazine

Fran Bennett, an American Trans woman of Irish descent, was a Roman Catholic Trappist monk and devoted her life to contemplation, prayer and service. Earlier this month, on 6 January, Fran sadly passed away at 63 years-old, leaving behind a grieving community.

Fran came out as Trans in 2016 prompted by her discovery that she was also intersex announcing her true gender identity to the world.

“I believe that we LGBTQI persons can be considered to be special gifts of God not in spite of, but precisely BECAUSE we are different and don’t fit within normally accepted societal gender or sexual attraction categories,” she wrote on Facebook.

“We have been rejected by the leaders of most organized religions. Simply to survive emotionally and spiritually, we have been often forced to look more deeply into the meaning of life than the average person who fits in more easily … Though not always, this, in turn, can sometimes result in a higher level of spiritual consciousness.”

Sadly, Fran fell on hard times towards the end of her life and was homeless at the time of her death. Her unclaimed remains are in a morgue in Columbus, Ohio, so Brandy Jackson, who became instant friends with her when they met at a hotel, started a fundraiser to give Fran the send-off that she deserves.

According to the fundraiser, the total cost of a cremation will be $2,995 so Jackson set a goal of $3,500 to cover all costs. That goal has already been surpassed by over 100 generous donations by those whose lives were touched by Fran, with a total of $4,725 raised at the time of writing.

While the donations have already covered Fran’s service, the fundraiser is still open to those who wish to support the cause, with any leftover funds being donated to a charity of the donors’ choosing.

If you want to donate to the Fran Bennett Go Fund Me page, you can do so here.

© 2022 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

This article was published in the print edition Issue No. 343 (July 1, 2018). Click here to read it now.

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Pride Issue

Issue 343 July 1, 2018

July 1, 2018

This article was originally published in GCN Issue 343 (July 1, 2018).

Read Now