History of Transgender Day of Remembrance
The first Transgender Day of Remembrance was November 20, 1999.
It was originally a web-based project (headed by Gwendolyn Ann Smith) begun as a way to memorialize the
murder of a transgender woman named Rita Hester from Allston, MA.
November 20th will forever be the day we mourn the trans people we've lost and advocate on behalf of the living.
I know this is a week past, but bear with me. This took me a week to be able to write.
This year marked the first time in 5 years I missed a vigil for transgender murder victims. This is also the first vigil since I came forward about my transitioning. So, as you can imagine I feel like a giant shit because I couldn't be with the rest of my community honoring those whose lights were extinguished. Though the flu kept me in my bed, I did still light a candle and read from the list of names. I also had the opportunity to have quiet time to think about what it all meant to me as a transman. Here's what I've come up with...
In 2012, I went to my first Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil. I remember hiding in plain sight and pretending I didn't feel anything more than sympathy for the families who lost their loved ones to violence or self-infliction. I also remember being scared to think what might happen if I ever let my inner feelings out. I was so worried if I were to start dressing, acting and behaving like a man someone would do to me like someone did to the extensive list of people whose names were read that year. So, I ran and hid who I was. I pretended I'm just a normal, heterosexual woman living my normal life with my normal, heterosexual husband and there is nothing "abnormal" or "unusual" about me.
The few next years, I continued to go to the Remembrance vigils convincing myself I was only going because it was the right thing to do by showing support to those who lost their families. Again, hiding behind my heterosexual husband and lifestyle.
Around April 2016, when my husband had his brush with death and we spent almost 4 months in the hospital I had the opportunity to dig into myself and really find out what was important. I found some books to read and some pamphlets to help me figure out what I was feeling. When I came to the realization my issue was I wasn't living my true life. I wasn't being my true me. While my husband was laid up in the hospital I found the nerve to discuss my dysphoria, my emotional issues and my psychological issues with living in my AFAB body. His main line was he was all for it so long as I was happy and wasn't looking to leave him. (Funny how that story some what changes.)
Come Day of Remembrance 2016, I had just become part of an organization which is active in the LGBT community and they were invited to the vigil in another town. Well, I jumped at the opportunity to go. This would be my first vigil as a member of this organization and as a transman (even if that was only in my mind). Let me tell you, that vigil hit me hard. I found as the names were read and the candles were lit, each felt like a knife slicing across my heart. I listened to the stories, poems and songs of the performers and speakers as they each opened their souls and bared the most intimate parts of themselves. I could feel my heart breaking and healing with the love from the other attendees in the room, but not just. I could also feel my true self coming to the surface. He was knocking all I had to do was let him in. That is what happened the next morning.
This year (as I said), I had other things to deal with, but it did not stop me from allowing myself the opportunity to remember those who have lost the fight either through an external source or due to their own hand.
This year is the year I stand up as a transman and I promise to make a difference for my brothers or sisters.
Trans people aren’t just trans people.
They’re brothers and sisters and sons and daughters, but we’re targeted disproportionately.
From October last year until September this there have been 325 transgender people murdered>
With no mention to any of the individuals who have taken their life in this time period.
I have spent quite a few years writing short stories that never quite fit into the 'normal' genre. When I came across the different erotica genres I was overjoyed. I had found my writing family. I hope that everyone enjoys what I've written. Please feel free to send me a comment/suggestion good/bad/indifferent. I appreciate all feedback! Bright Blessings!