Transgender Day of Remembrance

In honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance, here is queenemily’s “how to mourn” from Questioning Transphobia

How do you mourn someone?  Let alone people you’ve never met?  Why would you?

Transgender Day of Remembrance is not a once-a-year deal.  You don’t show up for services, murmur “lest we forget” and then promptly forget for the rest of the year.  Today lives within us, because we cannot afford to forget.

Still.  Today most of all, we remember those who were killed.  Because we die violently, unmemorialised, and are mocked after our deaths.

Because the world sees us disposable, less than human (and who can mourn that?).  Many of the dead lost their lives because they were trans women of colour, doubly disposable.  Racism is killing our sisters every bit as much as trans misogyny is.

Who would mourn a thing, a that, an it?

Few will respect our lives as they were, and few will mourn them, and they must be mourned.  Their lives were meaningful, their names and genders were real and important, and they lost their lives from hate.

Today we hold on to some memory, even if it only be a name and a photo, so that they are not as erased as completely as their killers would have.

Because the medical people treating them will have tried to erase them.  The media.  The police.  The juries.  Will try to excuse, to render less than real, the lives that have been lost.  Because who would mourn?  Who would bother?

This is not Pride.  This is remembering our dead.  This is not something you can make fucking upbeat and acceptable and call “awareness.”

And yes, today we remember those of us still living–our fear, the fear that lives at the heart of every trans person, that someone will know that we are trans, and will kill us for it.  Today we remember all the other times we murmured “oh fuck” as we read the news.  Today we discover the deaths we missed, because we couldn’t bear hearing about them anymore for awhile, even though we must.  We must.

Sometimes we forget ourselves, you know.  Sometimes we think that if we look like cissexuals, pass like them (are passed like them), that they must accept us.  And we forget that it is only the fact that they have assumed we have the same gender history as them that keeps them from hating us.

We do not live fake lives.  We do not live as nicknames, as aka.  We live hard, we love hard–we have to.  And we deserve to be mourned.

One Response

  1. […] before the Transgender Day of Remembrance police brutally murdered Duanna Johnson, a transwoman. Sublimefemme links to a powerful post about mourning by queenemily. This is not Pride. This is remembering our […]

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