Today we mourn the people we lost. Tomorrow we prepare to do what we always do and fight for our very humanity. And yes, we will win. Yeah I know I said that in 2007, but I believe it, and I’m going to speak it into existence today.
-Monica Roberts, Moni’s 2016 TDOR Thoughts
Another 365 days have passed since last year‘s commemoration of the Transgender Day of Remembrance, and this one is quite different from the TDOR we observed last year.
This 19th annual observance of the Transgender Day of Remembrance has some elements of it that are depressingly familiar to it. Once again we are reading off a list of namesof the people who were taken from us due to anti-trans violence that is overwhelmingly Black and Latinx.. We lights candles in their memory Once again many of the people we lost are under 40. When we not how they died, we are aware of the fact that many of them experienced horrific violence in their last moments on the planet. And we sadly note that Brazil led the pack in terms of being the most violent nation for trans people
What’s different is that we went from an administration that was unapologetically on our side in fighting for justice for trans people to an unjust one hellbent on oppressing us.
But what these misguided people and transphobes fail to understand is that when you are a people who have to fight tooth and nail just to exist, we’re going to fight oppression aimed at us even more tenaciously because it is literally a life or death situation for us.
In that stark scenario with those kind of stakes for the trans community, we have no other option but to prevail mo matter what kind of challenges are presented to us.
In Texas, we killed the odious SB6/SB3 twice in a regular and a special oppression session. The attempt to ban us from the US military is being fought out in the federal court system.
And far from eviscerating us from everyday life and force us back into a closeted existence as our opposition is trying to do, we are becoming even more visible and more of an integral part of it from media to politics. We will also have when 2018 dawns trans folks repping their constituents and out community in the Virginia House of Delegates and the Minneapolis City Council.
So yes, while we trans people, our families, friends and allies on this day think about the over 275 people around the world we lost to anti-trans violence, TDOR is a day more so for those of us who mourn them. Once we leave the various venues holding the memorial services around the world, we steel ourselves for the challenging at times task of fighting for the humanity and human rights of the people who to borrow the words of Miss Major, are still f*****g here.
The best way we can honor those we lost is to fix society to the point that we make the TDOR obsolete. We aren’t there yet and may not get there in my remaining lifetime on this planet. But we still have to keep fighting to reduce the number of anti-trans murders in the US and around the world, and ensure that the perpetrators of them do hard time when they are caught..
How fast will that day happens? Good question. But I can guarantee that won’t happen fast enough to keep me from writing another TDOR post 365 days from now.