OPINION: Garrett Greene's Easter tweet and the misguided outrage over annual Transgender Day of Visibility

WVU starting quarterback Garrett Greene.
WVU starting quarterback Garrett Greene. / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

DISCLAIMER: The views of the author of this article do not reflect the views of Hail WV or it's parent company, FanSided.

I'm sure this will be controversial. I really wish that it wouldn't be.

On Easter Sunday, West Virginia quarterback Garrett Greene sent out a tweet. As White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre's tweeted Sunday discussing the celebration of the International Transgender Day of Visibility, Greene crafted a simple four-word response for social media -- "Today is Easter Sunday."

What Greene may or may not realize is that he is both correct and incorrect at the same time.

Let's start with what Greene got right: Easter Sunday does fall on March 31 this year. Easter is what's known as a moveable feast, which just means an event on the Christian liturgical calendar which falls on different days depending on the year. Christian tradition now dictates that Easter annually falls upon on the first Sunday after the first full moon on and following the spring equinox each year. Next year, Easter is set for April 20, and in 2026, it will take place on April 5.

Now, let's talk about what Greene got wrong: March 31, 2024 marks the International Transgender Day of Visibility as well. And what your average person may not know is that this is not the first-ever Transgender Day of Visibility, nor is it being observed on Easter this year as a political slight against conservative Christians. In fact, the International Transgender Day of Visibility was created in 2010 by transgender advocate Rachel Crandall, and has been celebrated on March 31 every year since it's inception. In it's 14-year history, the day has actually coincided with Easter one other time, in 2013.

Now, I'll be clear that I have always been a supporter of the transgender cause and I think that this tweet is a bad look for Greene. However, I'm not going to use my soapbox to call Greene a transphobe or an awful person -- I have no evidence to believe either of those are true statements. I am not asking for Greene to have a "cancel culture" moment for his tweet, nor will I stop supporting him or WVU football as a result.

I think that Greene is a proud Christian who believes Easter is a bit of a sacred day, and I believe wholeheartedly that all folks deserve freedom of religion, regardless of what deity they worship. And understanding that Christianity has a culture that doesn't always condone the concept of being transgender, I understand feeling slighted if one is unaware of the history of the Transgender Day of Visibility.

But growing up in Appalachia surrounded by the church, I also understand that Jesus Christ's second greatest commandment was "thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Proverbs 10:12 also states that "hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses." So in the end, I believe that love for your fellow human should always trump concern over perceived sin when it comes to a Christian's interactions with others.

Now, we could debate all day the legitimacy of those who claim to be transgender and likely end the conversation exhausted and burnt out without much of a consensus -- though I personally like to point to scientific studies on the subject that affirms that being transgender is neither a choice nor biologically unnatural.

That being said, I am never going to attempt to force a Christian into accepting the concept of being transgender. I am also not going to be upset at someone peacefully living their life with anti-transgender beliefs, as long as they don't actively discriminate against or cause harm to transgender folk also living their lives freely.

However, I fail to understand why it has to be one or the other when it comes to these two days coinciding in 2024. I wholeheartedly disagree with the concept that it can only be Easter Sunday, and I would also disagree if we as a nation attempted to suppress the celebration of Easter due to the Transgender Day of Visibility.

I like to believe that both of these days can coincide with one another, and that devout Christians and transgender people should be able to co-exist with each other without negatively impacting each other's lives. In fact, I feel as if the world would be a much happier, kinder, and easier place to inhabit if we could all agree to that. There's no need for hatred or vitriol here, in my opinion, when we could all simply choose to get along.

With that in mind, I hope that everyone has a great Easter Sunday and International Day of Transgender Visibility.