November 20th is the Transgender Day of Remembrance. Each grave shown here lists a real name of a real person we lost this year. I realize some of them are hard to read here, but you can go here for a full list. The graves do not list every name though. Not even close. There are just too many names.
Too many people. Murdered. Often in exceptionally brutal and inhuman ways, to the point where some can't even be identified. And why does this happen? Because trans people wanting to be themselves is somehow threatening to people? Are you fucking kidding me?
In addition to all the names on the site, I learned a little while ago second-hand that a friend of mine took her own life fairly recently. I admit I didn't know her especially well, and I don't know the details of what drove her to that. I know she was a Rain fan though. I know I've drawn things for her, and she for me. I'm pretty sure I've given her advice in the past on how to do a webcomic herself. I know she was a cool person with a good sense of humor. It's been probably at least a year since I last talked to her, but I liked every instance in which we did talk. I would've liked to have gotten to know her better.
I also know she was transgender, meaning there are a lot of things that could have been eating away at her, and probably for a long time. And most of the hardships that oft come with being trans - fear, self-loathing, feeling unloved, etc - are pressed on us by people around us who refuse to understand or accept us for being us. I don't agree with suicide, but I can imagine the circumstances that brought my friend to that dark place.
So, as I say every year: I ask that you at least take a moment out of your day to just reflect on this... or if you know someone who is transgender, just give them a hug or tell them you're there for them... or if YOU are transgender, just be strong, love yourself, and don't be afraid of who you are.
*Sits in a minute of silence*
I actually could tell who you were refering to in the comments, I think. I'm not surprised you knew her. She was the first person I knew who explained to me what being trans* meant, and helped me come to terms with my own gender fluidity. Her loss is the hardest thing I've had to deal with this year, but I'm glad to see her remembered.
I prayed today. For the first time in years. Prayed for an end to needing to have a day like today. I live in the same city Gizzy did. I didn't know her, since Nashville's a pretty big place, but they covered her death on the local news last night (not without hitting every square on transphobic bingo, aside from using slurs). We've still got so far to go. I don't know the person you're talking about, Jocelyn, but I'm still saddened all the same.
This is something that, while sad, I needed to see today. It's a small thing, but it's enough of a thing to put a smile on my face, to hear your words of comfort, Jocelynn. Hearing it gives me the strength to endure my own hardships, since I don't want to end up dead by either method.
Reminds me of what happened to me the night before... I got so overwhelmed with life, I almost contemplated to de-transition and who knows what would have happened.... I wish peace to all of those who have passed on...
I've been unsuccessfully trying to quit a cutting habit for months now. But as rough as I've been through, it's sad to think that some people have had it even worse. It's cruel. It's sad to think about, but important.
I lost counts of how many times I write and rewrite this comment. I wrote about how I didn't want to live in a world where an 8 years old child is beaten to death because that child loves dancing, like female clothes and refuse to cut hair. I wrote about the struggle in our prison of flesh and how we are trapped in bars of hate, chains of bigotry and spikes of transphobia. I wrote about the temptation of darkness, and the allure of death when living is too painful, when a prisoner can only exercise their one last right to their own life.
Then I realized something: I have been writing a comment on a comic about a transgender girl. This realization is so obvious, so simple, so trivial, so banal, but it hits me out of my spiral of self hatred thoughts and depression. I realized that we have a voice. That we can tell our stories. That we DO have more than just the right to take our own lives.
We might be trapped in darkness, but we can make light. Each of us may only make a small light. But together we can make the greatest fire ever. We can burn down our prisons. We can find our way out of this darkness. We have each other, and we carry on the flame of those who has lost. And one day, we will be free.
Our school observed the Day of Remembrance on Thursday. it wasn't a huge assembly or anything, but there were quite a few of us there, along with the Dean. We gathered in the courtyard and read off names, along with dates, cause of death, and sometimes age, then had a minute of silence for those and the names we hadn't gotten to. I think we read the name of the kid you mentioned. Alex, right? Some of the cards had ages as well as the other information. There was one girl whose name we read that was sixteen years old. Sixteen. She was one year older than I am. Under different conditions, we would have been peers. We would almost certainly never have met, but she would have been one of so many other girls who would have grown up at the same time as I was, becoming adults, finding love, getting on with our lives. Only now, she won't. There was one woman on the list who was over sixty years old. Not old enough to have lived a full life, but older than most of the people I had heard about. I had to wonder, hearing her name, if she had ever though that it might happen to her. If she had gotten older, and her fears had slowly been assuaged by the years, if she had believed herself safe. Or perhaps she had never considered it, believed that she would live to see old age with the same thoughtless ease that most people do, firm in their right to feel safe. Or perhaps she had lived her entire life in fear, and expected her death when it came. I don't know. It's not like anyone, can ask her, now. We had an arrangement of candles set out in three rings. We had intended to light them in memory of all those people, but even in the shelter of the courtyard, the wind was to strong for them to stay lit more than a few seconds. Make of that what you will, I guess. That said, this was a school sanctioned event, which is at least something. Considering that we're a fancy private school in a liberal university district, it's not a lot, but it is something. But, me, I can't get that image out of my head, of how we tried and failed to light those candles. This is the longest comment I've ever written on anything. I've been trying to find a satisfying way to end it, but if it's there then I sure as hell can't see it.
Do you hear the people sing
Lost in the valley of the night?
It is the music of a people
Who are climbing to the light.
For the wretched of the earth
There is a flame that never dies.
Even the darkest night will end
And the sun will rise.
They will live again in freedom
In the garden of the Lord.
They will walk behind the plough-share,
They will put away the sword.
The chain will be broken
And all men will have their reward.
Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?
Do you hear the people sing?
Say, do you hear the distant drums?
It is the future that they bring
When tomorrow comes!
It is a horrible, sad truth that many of our trans brothers and sisters and siblings are murdered or are driven to die (proxy murder) each year. Especially our sisters.
Every one of us has had a moment--or many--where we contemplate death. I myself doubt that I will live to 18; sadly, I am not wrong in this thought.
I wish for a day in which no one should fear death so young or pain so powerful.
That middle part sounds really concerning.
I'm not afraid of being who i am. Im afraid nobody will ever want me for who i am.
For what its worth, there's /plenty/ of people who want you for you. There's over 7 billion people on this rock, its simple probability.
It's made even more horrible by the people who put their real names in quotations, as though their birth names are what matter.
@ Paint Pancakes:
For the intersexed, we are sometimes switched around after birth, so you might start out female, and then BOOM! You're male, and have to live as that until you get old enough to decide for yourself. SO I'm going back to my original name, and to who I really am.
I took a minute of silence this day, and then remembered all those who are in hiding behind clothes, ace bandages on their chest, avoiding PE class, never dating due to the fear of someone finding out, stuck in the prison of an inflicted gender that is not theirs. It is a prison and horror that never goes away unless you make it do so.
CIS people never realize the courage it takes to change. And a lot of them hate us for it, and they are envious that we are stronger on the inside than they are. The irony is that most of them would never have the strength to go through what we do. There are so many of us that implode psychologically and take their own lives. We are alive today because we have that strength, and have been blessed with not being murdered for who we are. This is what we need to remember!
I'm tired of this. Why should one's life be taken away when all they want to do is be themselves? Just because you were born into the right body doesn't mean everyone else was, too. All I really want is for this to stop. It doesn't make sense. It's not fair. It's not right.
I can't wait for 2015's transgender day of remembrance. It's gonna be the day I come out to my dad if my mom keeps up putting off telling him for me, which I'm certain she will.
Honestly, I can't think of a better time than that. I know it's meant to be a day dedicated to the dead, but I think that it'll somehow be easier to come out on that day.
IDK why. I just do.
I hope people do understand and get it, so I don't look like an ass towards those that have died and are being honored on that day.
When and how you come out is entirely up to you, of course. If you think TDoR is the best time to do it (I'm sure you wouldn't be the first) then do it. The most important thing in coming out is making sure you're comfortable enough to do it.
I will just throw this out there (in case you didn't know), there is actually a Coming Out Day too. October 11th. Five years ago, I came out to the internet on that day myself. And since then, I try to out my characters (other stories) every year too.
So, like TDoR, it's a pretty important day to me too. Differently important, but still important. Again, you know what's best for you; I just thought I'd help if I could. ^_^
@LittleLynn84: Thank you for telling me about this! October 11th is far more timely for me than Nov 20th, so this is better! Thank you for telling me about this!