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Thursday, November 21, 2013

CULTURE/SOCIETY - Transgender Day of Remembrance: An Angry Trans' View

I haven't seen anything about it on any Gawker sites today, but today is Transgender Day of Remembrance.

The mainstream feminist movement has, in large part, abjectly failed the trans* community, as has the LGBT movement (which has often been more about LG than B or T or Q or I or anything that's not attractive white couples).

When you look at any of the galleries of trans* people killed in the last year, and there are plenty of them, you'll notice that the vast majority of those murdered are trans women, and trans women of color at that. Trans issues ARE feminist issues, and they're not treated as such in many spaces that purport to be safe.


CULTURE/SOCIETY - Transgender Day of Remembrance: Anatomy of a Memorial

Tell me, what is it you plan to do 
with your one wild and precious life? 
--Mary Oliver, "The Summer Day" (1992)

This is the anatomy of remembering in the context of November. The date for the Transgender Day of Remembrance was chosen because Rita Hester was murdered in November. In a sense, it is an arbitrary date, but it occurs in a month when death and dying are so visible in nature, when darkness comes too early. It occurs in a month full of and surrounded by relevant observances and seasons: All Saints and All Souls, when we remember the dead; Thanksgiving, when we express gratitude; Advent, when some of us anticipate Word-made-flesh.

Every year we gather on or near Nov. 20 and honor our siblings whose lives have been taken by anti-trans violence. When we meet on this occasion, we remember our dead taken not by disease or natural causes, not by accident or age, but by violence. We name our dead, and we name the hate that killed them. Even though we despise this service and our need to hold it, we come. We come to say their names and talk about why they died, and how. We try to touch both our grief and our anger. We try to resist fatigue -- so many names, so much hate -- to resist apathy and shutting down in the face of the horror.


CULTURE/SOCIETY - Transgender Day of Remembrance: Remembering Naoimi

On International Transgender Day of Remembrance ZIMBABWE’S GALZ Pays Tribute to Naoimi

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 12.30.02 PMWe pay tribute to Naomi, Zimbabwe’s very own trans woman who championed the struggle for LGBTI rights in so many ways. She came out at a time when there was very little to no information on transgender people. Born 4th in a family of 8, Naomi a very active member of GALZ, Naomi never shied away from controversy. In her hometown of Mabvuku, a township about 25km outside Harare, most people considered Naomi’s behavior feminine.

Naomi fought for inclusion and acceptance even within the GALZ women’s program.  She was never included in these activities. She was a victim of violence in public spaces owing to her gender identity. She attempted suicide three times in her life, following a period in which society shunned her. But nothing stopped her tenacious fight for LGBT awareness, rights and freedoms.

CULTURE/SOCIETY - Commentary: Why the Transgender Day of Remembrance Matters to Black People

The African-American transgender community disproportionately faces violence and homicide. 

Since 1998, November 20 has commemorated the International Transgender Day of Remembrance, which memorializes those who have been killed as a result of anti-transgender violence. This day is also aimed at bringing attention to the continued violence endured by the transgender community through out the world.

And while this day may not get the media attention that it deserves, hundreds around the country in places such as New York City, Kansas City, Boise and St. Louis will gather and hold vigils for those whose lives ended way too soon.

And while it’s easy for many of us to ignore this day, we have to face the facts: Violence against the transgender community is most definitely an African-American problem.

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