Today is not a happy day. It never is. And in my opinion, it’s the worst day in all the year. But it’s an important day as well. So let’s talk about it a bit.
A friend of mine asked me last night if I would like to read names at the event we’re putting together tonight. My answer was a resounding no. I will not like doing it, but I will do it, because I feel it important to remember and honor our fallen brothers and sisters.
Yes, I know that I’m using much the same language as we use for military veterans on Memorial Day. I think the language is fitting. This is a war, of sorts. We’re fighting for our survival and right to live peaceful, happy lives. To quote from a song by Emilie Autumn “my heart is a weapon of war, my voice is my weapon of choice.”
Over the past 12 months, there were 265 reported murders of transgender people the world over. I want to highlight that for a second. That is only those that are reported. That is only those where we know the victim was transgender. That number does not include those who were driven to suicide, which is another form of murder, if you think about it. When you take all of that into account, those numbers are much higher.
And the number we do have has risen from previous years, and we’ve seen the numbers rise through the years. Part of this is more reporting, but I think part of is is increased violence. With increased visibility, people are more likely to see us for who we are, less likely to overlook those little masculine/feminine traits that transition will not get rid of. For example, I’m nearly six feet tall, and built like a linebacker (as are all the women in my family). As we gain increased visibility, people are less likely to overlook that and see me as a male bodied individual. And thus, I am at an increased risk of suffering from transgender violence. As are all of the cis women in my family who have similar body types. Which is another group we don’t acknowledge today: those who are cis but still remain victims of transphobic violence due to their own androgyny.
Stay safe out there today, and never forget who you are or where you come from. We’re all in this together.