November 20th is Transgender Day of Remembrance. It is "an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence." (1)
Our church recognized this day yesterday. Names and short biographies were read aloud during the service of five people who were killed or killed themselves because they were transgender. The age range was from 14 to 54. I think the entire church cried. I certainly teared up. One older woman who lost a son to suicide got to the podium and couldn't read her paragraph. The minister put an arm around her and read it.
Transgender Day of Remembrance was started in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. There will be a vigil tonight at our church where names of those who have died prematurely will be read. It is heart breaking stupidity to be killed for being different, but that is still going on all over the world.
The week before is Transgender Awareness Week, where advocates try to raise awareness and visibility for transgender people and address community issues. If we don't know about those who have been killed, how can we help?
I haven't decided if I will go to the vigil tonight. Crying exhausts me.
Why can't people live and let live?
2. Rita Hester
3. Music: Vance Gilbert, God Bless Everyone
Iron 2023: 9