On the Transgender Day of Remembrance, I can find no fitting words of my own to say. Who's going to listen, anyway? 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 I lost my job and took anything I could find after months of joblessness threatened to put 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. I only have the memory of fear.
I remember the gun leaning against the wall in the house of a man I had only recently met, and knowing that I would not live to see the morning.
Our dead come most often from our most marginalized and vulnerable populations, the economically disadvantaged, people of color, sex workers. The world takes little notice of their deaths, except to scoff.
We are not heard, and they know that no one will listen. When Duanna Johnson was beaten by that thug-like police officer in front of the cameras, punched her in the face as hard as he could with handcuffs across his knuckles, he knew in his soul that he could do it with impunity and he did. She later turned up dead. The jury couldn't agree on whether he'd done anything wrong. He later pled guilty and received only 24 months, and part of that was for tax evasion.
If the police, who are the protectors of our society, can do this, there is a lesson for the brutes of our world -- no one is listening to their cries. There are thousands of stories like this. What is there to say in the face of this? What soothing words can we pour forth to assuage our guilt? Did the Roman citizens complain about the people torn to pieces by lions as the crowds watched? They did not; what would have been the point? There is no one to hear us. There is no one to hear us.