Saturday, November 29, 2008

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Thursday, November 20th was the Transgender Day of Remembrance. GLAAD asked people to answer the question "What does Transgender Day of Remembrance mean to you?" Here is my response:

During the Transgender Day of Remembrance service, we are reminded – these people are children, siblings, parents, friends, and lovers. As we read the names, I think of the mother mourning her transgender child’s death, the brother who will never understand how someone could take his sibling’s life. There is a small child whose parent committed suicide, an adult whose parent died because the doctors refused treatment. I don’t know their names, but anti-transgender violence has taken their family members.

In this moment, I find sadness. In this moment, I find rage.

Then, my thoughts turn to the transgender people in my life. I picture my father and her partner, the peaceful life they have pieced together in the small town surrounded by mountains. Grateful that they have a place to live, that she has a job. They are less vulnerable than many of those on the TDoR list, but still the fear creeps in. I could be that family member, holding a picture at the vigil. This year, I am not. I say a little prayer that my loved ones – family and friends – live free from violence.

In this moment, I find sadness. In this moment, I find rage.

While marching through San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, I meet a woman whose name could have been on the memorial list. She tells me her story of surviving stab wounds and being left at Ocean Beach, of the children who found her there, of her recovery just two years ago. And she is marching next to me, holding a candle just like mine.

In this moment, I find perseverance. In this moment, I find hope.

May this compassionate rage fuel our collective efforts to recreate a world where people live free from violence and discrimination.

1 comment:

HRC Watch said...

Hi Monica,
Thank you so much for writing this post. Keep up the great work!