Ethan St. Pierre

I Read the News Today... oh boy

Filed By Ethan St. Pierre | April 25, 2008 10:45 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: Day of Silence, gay rights, gay students, Remembering Our Dead, transgender, violence

Today I spent the day talking. I talked to many different people concerning many different topics. It was quite the chatty day spent on the National Day of Silence. Yet, the one thing I didn't discuss all day long was the Day of Silence.

I read a few posts on Bilerico and the fog started to lift. I had been avoiding a day that is extremely important to us all. How many of us can look back and shudder at the memory of torment, fear or humiliation we have felt one time or another at the hand of a bully? Some of us felt it all the time. Others, like Lawrence King, didn't live to talk about it. Unfortunately, what happened to Lawrence isn't an isolated case.

Lawrence was a child and so was the boy who took Lawrence's life. Where did such hatred come from that took such a young life?

One of the things I do for the Remembering Our Dead project is to update the list of those we've lost due to anti-transgender hatred or bias. The project grows in leaps and bounds each year as we add more transgender people from around the world to that horrible, endless list. The hatred and lack of respect for human life yields no boundaries to age. Where does such hatred stem?

We all have a responsibility to the next generation and if we truly want to put a stop to such horrific, violent acts of hate we have to all be mindful of the words we choose or better yet, ask ourselves why we are choosing them.

I read a response to a post that made my heart sink because the words were an excuse to not help save another human being's life. Those same words have also been used to not support people right here in our own country - in our own community by some of it's members. How sad and shameful it felt to read this from a person who is looked up to by activists and as a role model for our youth.

I have lived with loss and tragedy as the result of such hatred and I can say that at times it has been a challenge to keep some of my own rage in check. However, I never want to feel as though I have the right to say that some lives are worth more than others. I've seen enough of that to last more than my lifetime.

I hope that the people who have helped to take the movement this far have learned from the violence that has been done to the ones we love and help stop the violence from happening to others' loves, no matter where they live.

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A.G. Casebeer | April 26, 2008 2:02 AM

Ethan, I can't stay silent for a day, since I troubleshoot people's modems over the phone.

And I won't be silent. Silence is a great gesture for a day, but we should all be loud and clear to our elected officials, and if they refuse to listen, work to get them voted out!

Judges and prosecutors who take deals and let those who commit hate crimes off with wrist-slaps, should also be pitched from office. If we are silent, tney will never care what we think.

Silence for one day - this day - is okay. But let us all be loud the rest of the time.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 26, 2008 5:09 AM

It is natural to respond with anger when reason is the best first choice. A short quote from his Holiness the Dalai Llama:

"When I say 'training the mind'...I'm not referring to...merely...cognitive ability or intellect. Rather, I'm...meaning closer to 'psyche' or 'spirit.' It includes intellect and feeling, heart and mind. By bringing about a certain inner discipline, we can undergo a transformation of our attitude, our entire outlook and approach to living."

Children's minds cannot reason as an adult can. Televison and violent video games have desensitized the horror of killing.

In an enviornment where kids can be subject to scathing ridicule if they are not wearing the right brand of sneakers why would we be surprised at what can happen? Parents need to give kids constant instruction, time, and fewer things. They should work less and give less material things to their children. When childless I, can go in to a grocery and see children telling their parents what to buy, and the parent doing it, how is the child to ever feel that it has boundaries?

"About a lucky man who made the grade."

That's the next line in the song you used in your title. We have a long way to go before the human race can "make the grade," if ever.

You being one of the few people who have read the ROD list as extensive as I have, I want to thank you for all that you do for us. Maybe one day, the atrocities by officials in other countries against transgender people will warrant a response from an American President, or a Presidential candidate. We need to speak out against ALL violence and not just the kind that will get you the most votes.

Please add Ms. Julia Case to the list. She took her life two days ago. I learned of her death yesterday from my friend, who prefaced the information with the statetment "We Keep Dying."

Thank you, Ethan, for a poignant reminder of how important DOS is to the entire community.