Today, November 20th, people around the world pause to bear witness to Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day dedicated to honoring the memory of those murdered because of anti-transgender prejudice. Transgender Day of Remembrance reminds us to fight against forces that devalue transgender lives every day. To bring awareness to this important day, we want to pause to share a few stories of transgender people who have found their voice on WordPress.com. We posed a question: “What does Transgender Day of Remembrance mean to you?” Below, we’ve shared a few responses from creators on our platform.
We welcome you to share your own response on your site. In the meantime, read slowly and soak in the hard-fought words of the brave voices who are willing to share their experiences.
Some of us have been counted, but most of us are counted out—unthought and unthinkable. And so we do it ourselves. We account for Tony McDade. We are accountable to Muhlaysia Booker. We recall Riah Milton. We recollect the fierce life of one of our greatest contemporary remembrancers, the trans griot Monica Roberts. We name the nonbinary people who continue to be treated as unnameable as we slip through the matrix of binary gender. The competing racialized pandemics of our time continues to be intensified for trans people, especially Black trans women, in this year as with any other. We live with that reality and demand non-trans people do the same because our resilience is nothing without their reckoning for the violence they allow to continue against us. Trans Day of Remembrance is not only about how trans people have been stolen from us too soon, but how we continue to survive and thrive and persist against all odds. Has there ever been anything as beautiful as that?
Going and spending some time in the company of other trans people was wonderful. I got to see trans people from a variety of backgrounds, some who had grown old and found love, and see proof that I could live a long and happy life as a trans woman. But the tone of the evening was contrasted by sitting with the knowledge of why we were all gathered, the knowledge of far too many lives cut far too short. I was surrounded by the trans people who had survived and thrived, as well as the memories of those who had not.
My name is Nicole Eldridge. I’ve been transgender since third grade. As I started to transition, I would read stories online about transgender people dying. This is absolutely terrifying if you want to do what they did. I never gave up and transitioned. Transgender Day of Remembrance means to me that we remember the transgender people that have died and carry out their goal of an equal future for all transgender people. Every time I listen to a Transgender Day of Remembrance speech, it brings me back to Martin Luther King’s speech, “I Have a Dream.” What King said about everyone being equal and having equal opportunities is so true when I hear the transgender people’s names who have died. It breaks my heart to hear all of the transgender people that died for the year. In spite of the hatred toward transgender people, I rise above it all and help transgender people all over the world with my website transgendersupport.org. This is what Transgender Day of Remembrance means to me.
Trans people are nothing new. Gender and its expressions have been changing throughout cultures, and trans people have existed throughout history with notable examples in the many ancient pantheons, including deities. There’s nothing new to consider, no trans question – we’ve been here all along, and the only terrible things that happened because of it happened to us…
And so I’m remembering trans lives lost this year, and trans lives filled with trauma, and everything that trans people have to do to simply… be. If you ever thought this year was scary, oppressive, isolating, challenging to get through and potentially fatal to be around people… you’ve been living a lot of the worst parts of the trans experience. Yet I’m remembering the powerful joy of my community, how our bonds through the pandemic have been strong, how well accustomed we immediately became to 2020, having lived our own version of it for most of our lives, creating found families, love, laughter, understanding and sometimes rainbows out of the unforgiving raw material of compromise.
We pride ourselves on being a platform where anyone can share their perspective, and we’re honored to be able to create a space for the personal stories of transgender-identifying individuals. Take the time to read their words and remember that it’s not enough to honor transgender people just one day each year. What we do matters every day. Follow these sites and others you come upon and, as a result, show your support in the days to come.
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