Day Of Remembrance
Today is the Transgender Day Of Remembrance, on which we remember those who were murdered because they were transmen or transwomen. Last year there were thirty such murders that we know of; there were surely many that happened unrecorded. It’s worth reading this list, and thinking of them.
“These things are deeply personal for many of us. Being transgender is not an easy life even under the best of circumstances but to see our brothers and sisters slaughtered simply for being themselves is something each of us can imagine happening to our friends or ourselves. The entire spiral of not being able to get or keep a job, being forced into situations that are inherently dangerous, and ultimately being murdered viciously and brutally is far too common in our community.
I sometimes don’t know which emotion I feel more: sadness or anger. I’ve personally attended 2 vigils of people honored at TDOR and have seen the anguish of a family who has just had a loving young life brutally taken from them. I’ve watched as police have turned a blind eye to these brutal murders that all too often go unsolved. I’ve listened to cold-blooded killers refer to their victim as an “it” as they describe how they took a tender young life by bashing her head in with a fire extinguisher. It infuriates me that people in this world can treat one another like that, where someone’s life is somehow less valuable or less important.
The most recent incident occurred just last week when a trans-woman and her gay brother in Syracuse, NY were lured to a party and ambushed. Someone began yelling obscenities at them in their car before going into the house, getting a rifle, and shooting through the driver’s side window. Latiesha was struck in the chest and died in a pool of her own blood. Poof. Another young life gone. And for what?”
It’s not that hard to be kind, to let people live their lives as they choose, and to try to help them when you can. Why everyone doesn’t try to do this is a mystery to me. But even if people can’t manage to be kind and decent, it’s really, really easy not to be so cruel and intolerant that you kill or beat people just because you don’t like the way they choose to live. Honestly: it’s a cinch. Takes no effort at all.
If only people would manage just that much, at least thirty people would not have died last year, and many more would not have to look over their shoulder when they walked down the street, wondering.