Lain Littlejohn

Auntie Monica was a legend. We met in 2018 at my first BTAC Conference, after I had seen her name and photos so many times – it was an honor to not only be in her presence and learn so much from her, but to also be considered one of her siblings/nephews over time. 

Being able to attend Monica’s homegoing was something I will never forget. To date, I have only gotten on a plane for two funerals during the COVID-19 pandemic, one of which was hers. I knew that I would not feel right if I did not get to say goodbye to her one last time in person.

The last time we had seen each other, it had been in January 2020 for the Creating Change conference. We had seen each other (in passing) a few times and chatted as we went about our days there, and on the last day, I was my usual self and forgot something in my hotel room. Due to this, I got to hug Auntie twice before heading back home. The last words we exchanged were “See you at BTAC”. At that time, we could not have seen COVID-19 coming or her sudden passing, so the next time we were together was on the day of her homegoing, Saturday, October 24th, 2020.

Attending her homegoing was bittersweet; It would be the last time I’d get to see Monica but it allowed many BTAC folks to be in community again – even in death, Auntie Monica continues to bring our community together and her work and contributions continue to inspire and inform the continued efforts of black trans people.

Thank you, Auntie Monica, for being you and allowing me to be a part of your life. I will miss your hugs, your laugh, your political commentary, your support, and so much more. Thank you for teaching me and the world so much. I love you!