One of the things that has bothered me at times is that when we have TDOR events, the lists of the people who we memorialize are predominately Black and Latina, but the people speaking at and taking part in the memorial services have been predominately white.
I shared that disconnect in a conversation with Dee Dee Watters not long after I met her in 2010, and it was one of the things that prompted her to organize a Black trans person centered TDOR event that for the last several years has been hosted by her radically inclusive church Progressive Open Door Christian Center. (PODCC) on the TSU campus.
I have had at this TDOR event the honor of being a keynote speaker, a name reader and for the last two years, as the community historian, talking about why the TDOR exists.
Last night at PODCC the 2017 edition of the TDOR Dee Dee organizes was held. In addition to yours truly breaking down the history behind the event, BLMHOU members Kandice Webber and Brandon Mack were there reading the list of names as event attendees lit candles in memory of the people we lost in 2017 to anti-trans violence .
One of the moments at this TDOR that also drove home the point of how serious a problem anti-trans violence is was when Mia Lopez came from the audience and discussed an attack that happened to her on Halloween night in the Montrose area, the same night that Candace Towns was killed.
PODCC Pastor Marvella Walker was also in the house to offer prayers, and Dee Dee did another one of her powerful dramatic pieces before the event concluded with the a capella singing of the Stevie Wonder classic song ‘Love’s In Need Of Love Today’
One of the things I would love to see for next year’s PODCC TDOR is more public officials from our community in attendance for this.
It would be nice to know that you stand for your trans constituents as well, especially in light of the fact that the names we read every year are overwhelmingly trans people of color.