Remember Them, Not Me

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Today you may notice a lot of stories online and in the media about transgender people, like me.

That’s because today is TDoR: The Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day dedicated to honoring the lives of those we lost because of violence, ignorance, hatred and because living was just too hard.

Their names, and their faces, are HERE.

Look at them. Scroll through. There are so many from all around the world.

Among the general population, the average rate of attempted suicide or serious consideration of suicide is estimated to be about 2-to-3%.

But for transgender people, researchers say it’s 41%. No, not 4.1%. Forty-one.

This year I became one of the 41%, and I can thank my friends and my kids that my name will not be among those read tonight. My eight year journey is finally on the right track, and heading in the right direction… although, to be fair, this train of mine could afford to shed some of the extra baggage that’s accumulated over time. Still, these are better days for me.

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Not so much for others. In the last few months, transwomen of color have been killed at an alarming rate; one group estimates a transgender woman is murdered every 32 hours somewhere on our planet.

My children and I will stand up tonight at the Metropolitan Community Church of Hartford, and light candles in remembrance, and join others around the world in a call for an end to the hate. Find a gathering near you HERE.

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One thought on “Remember Them, Not Me

  1. Forty-one percent is an appalling number. A similar, though smaller, study in Ontario just a year later found an estimated thirty-eight percent of respondents had attempted suicide, so the numbers are probably accurate. Another study found that an estimated eighty-five percent of trans folk have struggled with clinical depression and suicideation as well. The truly appalling part of all this is that being trans is not a clinical disorder. The depression and suicidal thoughts are the result of the social climate in which we must live. In other words, we’re not doing this to ourselves. There is, in fact, nothing wrong with us. It’s the way others treat us. We face abandonment by friends and loved ones, loss of careers and homes, verbal abuse, criminal assault, rape, murder, even political persecution, simply because we exist. Simply for being here, many of us pay a terrible cost, and today we pause to remember.

    Yet I say here what I say to clients at our women’s shelter again and again: “Look at what you (we) have been through. Any one of these calamities could be life changing. Let’s face it; they ARE. We know. Every one of us has, in some way, paid the cost. Yet here we stand, despite it all. We stand here, strong and proud. We do great things in this world. We bring great gifts to those willing to receive them.

    Despite it all.

    Like

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