The Transgender Day of Remembrance
Every year, on November 2oth, those of us who are capable of human empathy and love take a look back on how the previous year treated our Transgender family. In 2017, love and support were a little more vocal; legal battles brought visibility to injustice; fewer and fewer people can claim ignorance about the struggles faced by the Transgender community. Despite our successes, though, the reality of horrible violence seems to overshadow everything.
Violence on the rise
According to the Transgender Murder Monitoring Project, 325 Transgender people were brutally murdered simply for refusing to live a lie. Most were Transwomen of color, and 88% were sex workers. 25 lived their tragically-short lives in the United States, up from 24 last year.
The first year of the Trump administration has been especially horrifying and dangerous for those who continue to demand human decency. It boggles the mind – to be in constant danger simply because you exist. Because you’re alive. Because you are…you.
The Trans Day of Remembrance jolts us into outrage and action. The horrific, tortuous deaths our family endured are mourned, and their spirits call us to action. We remember them as we stand, visible, refusing to back down in the face of unspeakable hatred and cruelty.
We also stand with and for those who cannot live as themselves. This world is full of parents who kick their children to the cold streets, communities who believe violence can be a “cure,” and potential partners who are toxically insecure in their own sexuality. There’s no fault to be found in keeping yourself safe. We would rather speak in your name than see it on next year’s list.
Pride and defiance
We remain proud and humbled by those whose lives were ripped from them. The fact remains, however, that we should not have to be proud of anyone for living their identity. We should not have to worry about being murdered because our society can’t handle the breakdown of its false notions of gender.
We shouldn’t have to worry about 50% of Transgender youth considering suicide.
How can we accept that our children – our children as young as 8 or 9 – believe that death is preferable to the treatment they can expect in the world? How can we release them out into the world to be normal members of society, knowing that society will do its utmost to make them feel abnormal?
The role of the Transgender House
In the most distressing times, the world can look to the Transgender House for visibility and support – a small but proud beacon of light in this awful, suffocating darkness. Along with the Capital City Equality Center, we will always remain defiantly visible. The house inspires questions, outrage, love, pride. What it can never do is perpetuate ignorance.
The Transgender House was created to fulfill the dream of a beautiful little girl. She is everything we fight for, and the world must be a better place for her when she grows up.
What can we do?
We must remain loud, visible, and angry. We must honor and keep sacred those we weren’t able to save. There is no amount of fear worth turning our faces from the raging battle. Most of all, we all must scream for equal rights – let the voices of those who did not make it through this year scream their rage, truth, and pride through you.
We must scream their names.