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Transgender Day of Remembrance
November 20, 2013 7:06 PM   Subscribe


 
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I look forward to the day when this occasion only needs to mark distant historical events and not the raw ragged present.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:21 PM on November 20, 2013


It's a sad state of affairs that this has to be a special day. This should not be a day. Any more than any other day. I may not be saying this correctly. But I hope everyone understands.
posted by Splunge at 7:24 PM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


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posted by librarina at 7:35 PM on November 20, 2013


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posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:37 PM on November 20, 2013


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posted by gorestainedrunes at 7:53 PM on November 20, 2013


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posted by Canageek at 8:03 PM on November 20, 2013


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posted by yeoz at 8:16 PM on November 20, 2013




Thank you for posting this. I've been doing the posts these past few years, but, to be honest, it's very depressing.

I'm glad that more cis people are starting to think about trans issues, and that our rights are making advances. It's incredibly, deeply frustrating how slow that progress can be at times. And on days like today, it's easy to think we're not making any progress.

But we are, in those small, important ways, making progress. And that progress happens because we -- trans and cis allies alike -- make it happen, in whatever ways we are able.

For me, in addition to being a day to mourn, TDoR is becoming just as much a day to remind myself how important trans liberation is, and a day to rekindle my drive to work for it.
posted by jiawen at 8:23 PM on November 20, 2013 [9 favorites]






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posted by Betafae at 8:51 PM on November 20, 2013


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posted by Space Kitty at 9:07 PM on November 20, 2013


Great article.
posted by klangklangston at 9:16 PM on November 20, 2013


If you think that this doesn't concern you nor MetaFilter, consider this:

Though I'm alive and breathing, my life is one that has already basically been lost and squandered due to transgender ignorance and intolerance, even if some or much of it has been my own.

I'm certainly not the only one, either, not even simply here on MetaFilter.

I've basically given up on my own "roadmap" to transformation and acceptance because I can't even accept myself, because I don't want to be that linebacker-shouldered dude in a dress, because I'm too old and tired and not brave enough or whatever. Because there isn't a time machine to go back and explain things to myself, or my parents, and that the bigoted church I grew up in irreparably my heart and soul, that much of the other and abuse I suffered was likely due to not fitting into the gender binary, that I should probably be put on hormone blockers at or before puberty so I could figure things out and so on, ad nauseum...

...and due to not wanting to fit into one or the other, anyway. Forcing myself into one nor the other is not "me" and, well, yeah. It's tough like that. I've tried. People think it's some kind of joke or that I just want to be a special snowflake

And I don't even have it that bad. I'm not unloved. I'm not homeless, nor starving. But every day. Every god damn day it gets harder to carry this burden, like some kind of silent cancer, an invisible killer that's making my co-morbid PTSD and depression basically unmanageable, and eventually, likely simply just not survivable.

Even when I've come out to close friends who I thought that they understood - I've been tone policed and admonished to not come out "yet". To not start hormones "yet". To not go out wearing that, not yet, at least not outside of a safe private party or club or something. I've been even been told by family I'd make an ugly woman, that I'm throwing away my life. Whatever.

Even these evolved, kindly people in my life who meant very well couldn't deal with the reality of it.

Remember this, when someone younger comes to you in the future, that your well-meaning words may be enforcing the status quo, and throwing away the potential of someone's life who waits, and wonders when.

This is not a cry for help. Please don't blow up my inbox. I don't have internet at home, so replies may take forever.
posted by loquacious at 9:20 PM on November 20, 2013 [38 favorites]


Thank you for bringing it home in such an a powerful and personal way, loquacious.

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posted by treepour at 9:39 PM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


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posted by stet at 10:07 PM on November 20, 2013


I feel so many things and don't really know how to express it. I read the stories about trans people committing suicide, being murdered , losing jobs and facing discrimination all throughout the year, I check up on my trans friends, worry about them, feel stupid for worrying, wonder how you all will find out if I go jump off a bridge or if some asshole decides that my number is up. I know the stats, I worry about how I'm going to deal with finding out something bad has happened to any of my trans friends. I was feeling a little too hopeless and decided that going to the vigil in Austin is too much trouble, kids gotta eat, right, but the reality is I'm still mostly in the closet IRL and getting ready for tdor was not going to happen, and showing up in full boy mode...well... Truth is I'm scared of what I am.

Much love to all my transgender friends here on mefi and elsewhere. My heart is with the families and friends of the transgender people who have lost their lives and faced abuse this year. I'm sorry that I was not strong enough to show up in person this evening and show solidarity.
posted by Annika Cicada at 10:39 PM on November 20, 2013 [11 favorites]


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posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 11:55 PM on November 20, 2013


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posted by C'est la D.C. at 3:01 AM on November 21, 2013


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posted by Sophie1 at 5:38 AM on November 21, 2013


I don't generally go to the events, but I spent about ten minutes in silence yesterday, remembering my friend. I'm not sure what I believe in, I'm not sure why I do it, but every year I remember my friend.

Andrea.

Too young.

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posted by ArmyOfKittens at 6:31 AM on November 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


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posted by floatboth at 7:27 AM on November 21, 2013




Thanks for posting a piece that tells it like it is. While white, middle-class lesbian, gay and bisexual people may have found this a year to celebrate, and can believe the slogan that "it gets better," trans people--particularly trans women, and most centrally trans women of color--have seen even greater levels of horrific violence.

As long as people have advocated for LGBT nondiscrimination protection in various venues, the opposition has always demonized gender transgressors. And the response of our "mainstream" organizations, from the homophiles of the 1950s to marriage advocates today, has been to present an image of cis gender conformity, pushing trans folks to the margins. Thus, when the Employment Non-Discrimination Act was first introduced in Congress in the 1990s, and the opposition reacted with claims that this could mean "men in dresses" would have the right to teach our schoolchildren, the trans provisions were stripped out by gay proponents of the bill to try to appease the naysayers. ENDA did not pass. This year, a big push by LGBT activists saw ENDA pass in the Senate--if only by a hair--after a number of Republicans got explicit assurances that it would not give people a right to insurance coverage for a "sex change." The bill then went nowhere in the House.

So, efforts of decades to seek to placate those voicing the outrageous transphobia that greets every LGBT rights movement have not succeeded in securing those rights. All they do is keep trans people on the margins. If LGB people want to see their rights secured, it's time for them to face the fact their opposition head-on. Those who oppose LGBT rights focus on demonizing trans women. LGBT rights movements must fight that directly, by centering those now on the margins, and saying in one strong voice that trans women are human beings--not threats to our children or the punchlines of jokes or human refuse one may murder with impunity. Only that will defang the claims of our mutual enemies.

May we all live to see the day.
posted by DrMew at 9:15 AM on November 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


I...wonder how you all will find out if I go jump off a bridge
This is a little more personal than I'm normally comfortable sharing here, but I guess I wanted to speak up and say I wonder this, too, and other things that, in even just a slightly better world, I wouldn't have to. I understand how loquacious feels, and deal with that myself. I'm all too familiar with the demonization of transgender women--it's something that's not just socially acceptable but culturally enforced, I think, the way homophobia once was in the US. Most people are probably ambivalent about it, but go along with transphobia because we're basically socialized to. The extent to which transphobia saturates culture is one of the things you think you notice before transition, but which you've only seen the tip of.

I try to be positive, though. And I try to speak up a little bit more. It's helped. Over the past few years, I have seen so much more awareness of trans issues in general society, and that's heartening--it always, always draws out a flood of utterly disgusting comments I can't deal with, but more and more cis people are expressing positivity toward trans people and educating themselves on our issues. Sometimes it feels like a "one step forward, two steps back" thing, but there is progress being made.

But:

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posted by byanyothername at 9:54 AM on November 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


I feel so many things and don't really know how to express it. I read the stories about trans people committing suicide, being murdered , losing jobs and facing discrimination all throughout the year, I check up on my trans friends, worry about them, feel stupid for worrying, wonder how you all will find out if I go jump off a bridge or if some asshole decides that my number is up. I know the stats, I worry about how I'm going to deal with finding out something bad has happened to any of my trans friends.
Thank you Annika.

Thank you for being a friend to those of us who sometimes sorely need one. Thank you for checking up on us and for worrying about us. And, I think you'd know how I'd feel something happened to you. I think it's the same way you'd feel if something happened to me. But if something does happen to you or me or any of our many friends, we'll deal with it the same way we've dealt with all of our other crises. We'll deal with it together as friends, as a community, and as a family. We'll heal together and get through those tough times together, because together we have to.
I was feeling a little too hopeless and decided that going to the vigil in Austin is too much trouble, kids gotta eat, right, but the reality is I'm still mostly in the closet IRL and getting ready for tdor was not going to happen, and showing up in full boy mode...well... Truth is I'm scared of what I am.
That kind of thing is really hard for me to go to as well, for much the same reasons. But, I hope that in time, as you progress with your transition, you'll find it a little easier to go, as you'll be able to go as yourself, your real self.
Much love to all my transgender friends here on mefi and elsewhere. My heart is with the families and friends of the transgender people who have lost their lives and faced abuse this year. I'm sorry that I was not strong enough to show up in person this evening and show solidarity.
*hug*
posted by yeoz at 11:30 AM on November 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


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posted by chaosys at 2:11 PM on November 21, 2013


I love you all so hard.
posted by stoneweaver at 3:47 PM on November 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


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