Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today is the International Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Chally wrote very eloquently and succinctly about what it is and linked to some resources, including lists of folks who have been killed this year because of their gender expression. Note that most of them were trans women of colour, already among the most marginalized people in this society. Trans sex workers, also on this list, are in an even more vulnerable position.

This is a hard post for me to write. There are a lot of things I want to say. But I don’t really have the words to say them.

It upsets me that people are killed, all over the world, for their gender expression. For not meeting with the notions of gender that other people have. It upsets me that people are beaten. Raped. Tortured. For their gender identity. It upsets me that this is tolerated and in fact sometimes actively encouraged, that people openly promote activities like corrective rape.

Some people think that days of remembrance are a waste of time. Or they say that people should be thinking about this “all the time.”

Well, I do.

Every. Single. Day.

I think about it. I think about the people I haven’t known and never will know, now, because they are dead.

And I’d like you to do the same.

Because the thing about a day of remembrance is that it allows us to take a moment, together, as a collective, to acknowledge something. It doesn’t mean that we observe a moment of silence and move on with our lives. It means that we take a moment to face something ugly and horrific and infuriating. It means that we ask people, for one day, to be in solidarity. To pause. To reflect. Because, yes, sometimes we all actually do need to stop. And think.

It means that we honor the dead, because honoring the dead is something that our culture does not do nearly enough. Our culture likes to sweep away and conceal the dead because it does not like dealing with death and grief and mourning especially when our culture knows that it is complicit in the social attitudes about trans folks which result in their deaths.

Yeah, it’s uncomfortable.

You know what’s more uncomfortable?

Dying because you’re in the “wrong” bathroom. Being beaten for flirting with the “wrong” person. Corrective rape because you aren’t expressing your gender “properly.” Never knowing, at any time, if you are safe, with anyone.

That’s uncomfortable.

Remember. And let’s make the world a safer place for everyone.