International Transgender Day of Remembrance
Today, November 20, marks the 10th annual Transgender Day Of Remembrance.
It is a day for us to come together as a community and mourn the hundreds of deaths inflicted on our friends, neighbors, and fellow humans by transphobic acts and in the United States and around the world. A way to memorialize people like Larry (Lavern) Turner, who was shot by LAPD officers in March of 1970; Stella Essie (Jerome Brent) who took a sledgehammer to the head in Chicago in 1985; an unnamed infant with ambiguous genitalia strangled to death by hir own mother in Texas in 1999. The names and murders of these and over 400 other victims can be found here. Read each name, mourn them, and try to remember just one. Lock that name inside your heart and carry it with you. This name could be you. Or me. Or anyone you know. Be mindful of the past and hopeful for a future where people are free to bloom into who they are without fear of violent rebuke, without hatred.
Today I am mourning my friend Will Liberi, my first transgender friend, who taught me so much about gender identity and the importance of loving yourself. Today I also mourn the death of Latiesha Green (Moses Cannon), who was shot to death while riding in a car with her brother, Mark, just last Friday, November 14 in Syracuse, NY. Mark survived — the bullet only grazed his arm — but Latiesha was hit in the chest. She was only 22.
There is an amazing power that comes from mourning as a community. Candlelight vigils are being held around the world today, and in many of the 50 states. Visit TransgenderDOR.org to see if there is one near you. If there isn’t, take heart in knowing that thousands of people are reading these names today, sharing our pain and our hopes for a better world.
Image Credit: seanmcgrath