As many people probably already know, I’ve never been thrilled with the idea of Transgender Day of Remembrance as the public face of the trans community. It’s just a little too “bring out your dead” for me. That doesn’t mean the too violent deaths of trans people every year doesn’t sicken and anger me – it does, maybe too much. I hate that we – trans people & those who love them – live so often in fear, and fear for just our bodily safety.
(& Before anyone gets up my ass about my use of the word “we” please look at the deaths of Taysia Elzy and Michael Green – Taysia was trans, & Michael was her boyfriend, & they were both murdered. About 1:12 on the video I posted yesterday.)
I suggested many moons ago that we also have a “Remember We’re Living” Day of Trans Pride / Celebration, where we recount the successes and victories and loves and kindnesses we’ve experienced. I’ve been really happy to see the week before TDOR has become Transgender Awareness Week in a lot of places, even if it still ends with our deaths. Maybe we could start the week with our deaths instead, so that we can end on an optimistic note? Anyway: this year, I’d like to recognize a close friend’s accomplishments because she recently got tenure for the 2nd time, and is well-respected within her field and by her students. I’d also like to recognize a close friend who, despite numerous health risks and problems, survived and is thriving after her surgery. My own lovely partner got a job she’s quite happy doing. A lovely woman on our boards was recently asked by her parents for a new photo of her for their mantle. Another person on our boards came out to her kids not long ago and did so with grace and aplomb. There are so many of these cool things that happen to trans people, and because of trans people, every single day & every single year.
It is the conviction to live your life as you need to – and the remarkable grace under fire – demonstrated by trans people that inspires those of us who are not trans. Every single day passes where someone, somewhere, notices that they are living their own life of quiet desperation, or are otherwise living quietly and without rocking anyone’s boat in ways that feel wrong. But when that person – or any person – meets a trans person who lives truthfully and with love and humor and loss, it is hard for them to ignore the unbelievable beauty & fortitude you all emanate.
So for that, thank you.