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Transgender Day of Remembrance
November 20, 2011 12:25 PM   Subscribe

Today, November 20, is the Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day to remember all the people who've been killed in the past year out of transphobia. As before, the vast majority are poor trans women of color. Also as before, the true numbers are almost certainly far higher than the reported numbers. Ceremonies are being held around the world; see the website for details.
posted by jiawen (82 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
On a personal note: I was looking through Craigslist for people to play RPGs with last January when I happened upon an ad that rang a lot of warning bells for me -- all caps, sounding desperate, probably from a trans woman in dire need. But, it seemed, there wasn't much I could do.

Just a few days later, the first murder of the year in my hometown was reported. When I saw who was murdered, the photo looked familiar but it took a little while for me to remember how. Once I realized she'd been the one in the Craigslist ad, I freaked out a little, then reported her ad to the FBI. Hopefully, I at least contributed a little to the arrest, if not to preventing her death.
posted by jiawen at 12:26 PM on November 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


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posted by seanyboy at 12:53 PM on November 20, 2011


It was tough to grow up gay in Texas. My transgender friends and acquaintances there are some of the bravest people that I will ever have the honor of knowing. I am humbled by the bravery that they have to exhibit every damn day just to survive.

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For my brothers and sisters whose lives were cut short by hate and ignorance.
posted by kamikazegopher at 12:55 PM on November 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


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posted by marienbad at 12:58 PM on November 20, 2011


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posted by JiBB at 1:00 PM on November 20, 2011


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posted by louche mustachio at 1:09 PM on November 20, 2011


the vast majority are poor trans women of color.

Where are the specific statistics on that? The reports are from all over the world, and I believe most people in the world are non-white.
posted by John Cohen at 1:13 PM on November 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


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posted by Marquis at 1:14 PM on November 20, 2011


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posted by trogdole at 1:15 PM on November 20, 2011


Not even in New Orleans, traditionally hospitable to the spectrum of gender presentation and home of bounce artist Katey Red, who's been written up in Vanity Fair and featured performing in Treme on HBO, are transgender people safe from hate crimes. In 2010 Messy Mya was killed. This city is violent and ignorant, even destructive and deadly in many ways, but there is a breath of hope in that generally people who are different are accepted here and are free to express themselves in peace.

'A staunch ally of all marginalized groups, Shakesville has a piece today in memory of those who died this year because of fear and ignorance.
posted by Anitanola at 1:18 PM on November 20, 2011


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posted by yeoz at 1:32 PM on November 20, 2011


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posted by Catseye at 1:35 PM on November 20, 2011


At least 14 eunuchs were killed Sunday when a fire swept through a venue in New Delhi where nearly 1,000 members of the marginalised community had gathered for a national convention, police said....In India the term "eunuch" is mostly used to refer to cross-dressers and pre- and post-operative transsexuals...
posted by futz at 1:37 PM on November 20, 2011


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posted by Dysk at 1:39 PM on November 20, 2011


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posted by arcticwoman at 1:43 PM on November 20, 2011


To my straight male brothers: WTF? These people mean you no harm, and if some of you let go of your weird hangups and got to know some of these people you might like them. And these dead people are somebody's children/siblings/friends. Remember that.
posted by jonmc at 1:45 PM on November 20, 2011 [15 favorites]


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posted by Z303 at 1:52 PM on November 20, 2011


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posted by Dalton at 2:10 PM on November 20, 2011


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posted by entropone at 2:13 PM on November 20, 2011


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posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:24 PM on November 20, 2011


Indianapolis: Taysia and Michael Green were romantically involved. It is believed that Taysia was murdered because she was transgender and Michael was murdered because of his relationship with Taysia. They were both found dead in their apartment.
. For Taysia Elzy, Michael Green and so many others.
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:31 PM on November 20, 2011


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posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 2:37 PM on November 20, 2011


I hate this day. I hate it because every year, the list of people being remembered is longer. It seems like a final slap in the face to the trans community and people who care about them--No, you can't just mourn in peace. You have to be scared, too. We're remembering something that isn't over yet.

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posted by hippugeek at 2:50 PM on November 20, 2011 [8 favorites]


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posted by emmtee at 2:57 PM on November 20, 2011


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posted by SPrintF at 2:58 PM on November 20, 2011


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posted by rtha at 2:59 PM on November 20, 2011


. for the people I've known.

. for the people I never got to meet and now never will.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 3:02 PM on November 20, 2011 [8 favorites]


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posted by Thomas Tallis is my Homeboy at 5:03 PM on November 20, 2011


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posted by sperose at 5:13 PM on November 20, 2011


To mark the day, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality are highlighting a report released earlier this year—Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey—the “first large-scale national study of discrimination against transgender and gender non-conforming people, and paints a more complete picture than any prior research to date.”
posted by skenfrith at 5:21 PM on November 20, 2011


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One of my favorite people in the world is a transman. I can't imagine the world without him. Here's also a moment for those who are surviving the loss of loved ones.

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Here's to hoping things get better for everyone.
posted by smirkette at 5:33 PM on November 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


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posted by lord_wolf at 5:37 PM on November 20, 2011


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posted by Faint of Butt at 5:54 PM on November 20, 2011


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posted by mkb at 6:13 PM on November 20, 2011


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posted by Salmonberry at 6:26 PM on November 20, 2011


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posted by Blue Jello Elf at 6:26 PM on November 20, 2011


Thank you for drawing my attention to this day- I had no idea. It's a cause that is close to me in a way, because I suffered through some of the hatred while I was dealing with gender dysphoria in my youth. Although I'm now secure in my gender I was born with, I often wonder if I was simply too weak to handle the issues that came along with my opposite gender presentation at that time. I suppose it's not entirely the case, since apparently children often "outgrow" their dysphoria, but I'll always wonder, had it been easier, would I be the man I then saw myself as today? It has been a struggle to turn my back on that path and find my femininity and womanhood all the same.

I have the utmost respect for those who are strong enough to endure the pain of feeling wrong in their bodies and making it right, despite the social, emotional, physical and even financial costs. I suppose it's worth it for those who need to transition, but god damn if it isn't one of the bravest things they can do.
posted by sunshinesky at 6:29 PM on November 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


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posted by argonauta at 6:48 PM on November 20, 2011


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posted by guster4lovers at 7:32 PM on November 20, 2011


I saw this post just before leaving the house today, and so took an early detour to the candlelight vigil at the capitol in Raleigh on my way to tonight's Occupy GA. I figured there'd be just a handful of folks there, and at 5:15 there were. By 5:30 there were 40 people, in a circle, each with a candle in hand as the sun started to set.

Then the Occupy folks started coming over.

An Equality NC coordinator handed out 8x11 sheets of paper from a stack. Mine said:

Génesis Briget Makaligton
Location: Comayagüela City, Honduras
Cause of Death: Strangulation
Date of Death: January 7, 2011
Génesis was approximately 23-27 years old.

As motorcycles and cars zoomed by the Capitol, each of us read the piece of paper in our hand, around the circle, as wax dripped into the plastic cups around the candles. I was kind of thrown by that "approximately," got a little choked up and forgot to read the date (Génesis' link at the Day of Remembrance site goes here. There's no photo). The reading was more powerful than I expected, to be honest; being part of that circle - trans folks, supporters, families, kids - was such an affirmation.

After the names, a female pastor gave a non-specifically-Jesusy-but-still-redemptively-Christian prayer, which I mostly ignored; there was a moment of silence and then a Quaker-esque opening for anyone to speak from the heart. A few did, separated by brief periods of quiet. A trans woman said she believed justice would prevail in our lifetimes. The pastor told a story of a 90-year-old woman in a local Baptist church who recently stood up to ask if a resolution in favor of lesbian and gay equality unjustly excluded transgendered people. A gay guy said he couldn't know for sure what it was like to grow up transgendered, but he did know for sure that every person there who lived openly trans day to day was a hero to someone, somewhere.

That seemed to touch folks deeply.

The motorcycle sound kept coming, as if it was circling the block, which made me wonder if it was someone fucking with us. But that was probably just ordinary queer-in-public paranoia, easy enough to dismiss. When the organizer asked if anyone had anything else to share before we closed, I wanted to blurt out that I just thought it was amazing this was happening in cities all over the world today, and that it was so empowering to be part of something like that, but I hesitated. I have a big enough mouth as it is and didn't want to ruin the moment. We blew out our candles and split, some to a reception at the LGBT Center just up the street, others home, and others to the Occupy group to get ready for the evening's General Assembly.

I wouldn't have remembered to go to the vigil without having seen this post. So thanks, jiawen. I owe you one.
posted by mediareport at 7:36 PM on November 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


As the universe is my witness: Both physical sex and gender are a broad and diverse spectrum.

In the womb we all start as the same kind of sexless zygote,As we develop we differentiate towards one end or another of those spectrum. It's not binary - but it trends towards binary for most and many.

But in the womb it's also not entirely binary. The flood of hormones that forms each of us is a unique blend interacting with unique DNA and unique circumstance in time and space.

And each of us are both male and female. Most are more one end of the spectrum than the other, but I haven't yet met a human or primate yet that didn't have a little of both.

The ostracization and misunderstanding of so many steals from us all. It removes talent, intelligence, skill. Artists, scientists, engineers, lawyers, writers, cooks, construction workers - all fields and gifts. It destroys families. It kills people with loneliness.

It only limits and divides humanity to not allow for the full expression and equality of sex, gender, as well as attraction. To each - their own.
posted by loquacious at 7:52 PM on November 20, 2011 [8 favorites]


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posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 7:54 PM on November 20, 2011


I saw this post earlier, and then remembered it just now when I happened to be listening to this. Now I'm saying a small prayer that all of us learn to grow beyond hate, as we've been fighting to for so long, and that the future can be brighter. "Tomorrow, who's gonna fuss?" Let's hope nobody.

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posted by koeselitz at 7:55 PM on November 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by jokeefe at 8:04 PM on November 20, 2011





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Deep Bow
posted by Jikido at 8:11 PM on November 20, 2011


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posted by dragstroke at 8:21 PM on November 20, 2011


Thanks for this post. I used to be the president of the specifically LGBT-friendly performance group at my undergrad institution; it was kind of on the way out by the time I took over (I, a straight/cis woman, was the only person willing to take over the presidency) because by the time I became a part of it, essentially the entirety of campus was LGBT-friendly, and I've never been happier to be a part of an obsolete organization. One thing that we always made sure to get together to sing at, though, was Transgender Day of Remembrance. It was a sobering reminder that the need to strive for acceptance and love for all is not obsolete. Raising my voice in song to a piece like "True Colours" with members of the trans community of central New Jersey and their loved ones is one of the most powerful feelings I've ever had. Since graduating I've shamefully forgotten about its place in the year, and now all I can think about is the image of thousands of candles that should never have needed to be lit in remembrance, filling the cathedral hall.

I only hope one day we won't have to light all those candles to find our way out of the darkness.

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posted by ilana at 9:07 PM on November 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


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posted by Lieber Frau at 9:45 PM on November 20, 2011


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posted by Iteki at 9:54 PM on November 20, 2011


I have nothing but admiration and awe for those who choose to be who they are, instead of what others want them to be.

Our world is enriched by ALL of its colors, shapes and patterns. No exceptions.

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posted by kinnakeet at 5:18 AM on November 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by Lisitasan at 6:04 AM on November 21, 2011


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posted by theatro at 6:10 AM on November 21, 2011


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posted by Foosnark at 6:13 AM on November 21, 2011


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posted by Jilder at 6:23 AM on November 21, 2011


I posted a TDOR announcement to my twitter feed. Many didn't get it, and I (sadly predictably) lost some followers.

It Gets Better. But it doesn't get better for those killed just for being who they were.

"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice." (Martin Luther King, Jr.)
posted by andreaazure at 7:30 AM on November 21, 2011


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posted by IAmBroom at 7:56 AM on November 21, 2011


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posted by anya32 at 9:05 AM on November 21, 2011


When I was out for dinner with my wife on Saturday night, I was speculating on what the next frontier of prejudice and intolerance would be. Equality for genders, races, and sexual preferences has by no means been achieved, but has at least been recognized by most progressives as good and obvious. So what else are we going to look back on in 50 years with shame?

I think that this is a pretty clear answer to my question. Gender identity tolerance lags pretty far behind gender preference tolerance.
posted by CaseyB at 10:50 AM on November 21, 2011


CaseyB you did see zarq's post about an article on just this subject, America's Next Great Civil Rights Struggle a while back?
posted by Z303 at 2:10 PM on November 21, 2011


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posted by sandraregina at 2:13 PM on November 21, 2011


I'm glad that I got to see this in a different light — the TransUnion LA folks were using our EQCA office to plan the event, and they were all such fun goofs to have hanging around while we cleared out our office to give them enough space to meet that it was easy to forget that the day was a threnody, not a holiday.
posted by klangklangston at 2:25 PM on November 21, 2011


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posted by Not The Stig at 4:28 AM on November 22, 2011


Transgendered and Homeless, Youth Struggles to Build a Life
posted by homunculus at 9:37 AM on November 26, 2011


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