I have been struggling to find words appropriate to this Transgender Day of Remembrance.
I can find no fitting words of my own. I am too far from the days when I wanted to die, when people stopped to point and laugh at me on the street, when the need for human companionship led me down dangerous streets, when I felt the imminence of violence in the air. Being trans often means confronting others with their own difference, their own failure to conform, and their own self-loathing. The words of Sandy Stone come to mind, from her essay "My Words To Victor Frankenstein Above the Village of Chamounix," where she discussed the fear and loathing that many gays and lesbians have for transsexuals:
Hearken unto me, fellow creatures....I offer you this warning: the Nature you bedevil me with is a lie. Do not trust it to protect you from what I represent, for it is a fabrication that cloaks the groundlessness of the privilege you seek to maintain for yourself at my expense. You are as constructed as me; the same anarchic Womb has birthed us both. I call upon you to investigate your nature as I have been compelled to confront mine. I challenge you to risk abjection and flourish as well as have I. Heed my words, and you may well discover the seams and sutures in yourself.
Following in Bil's footsteps, I think it better to let readers talk.
Do you know a trans person murdered because of their gender identity? Do you know someone who has suffered violence because of being trans, from others or from their own hands? Have ever looked at a trans person, perhaps even in the mirror, and felt loathing? Leave a comment about it here. The murderers we hear about are only the ones who got caught, but the culture of hate and violence surrounds us all. Let us talk of the causes, not only of the symptoms - and let's memorialize our dead.