In the midst of the rampant speculation and debate about policies, I've tried to stop a few times in the last couple of weeks and remember a few women who were killed recently because they were transgender.
The sad fact remains that this happens all too often.
A few others have put this far better than I can.
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.
Who would mourn a thing, a that, an it?
The Day of Remembrance is ours, and it is sacred. It is the one day we set aside to honor those in our community, overwhelmingly poor trans women of color, who were killed due to bigotry and hatred. It is a single day in the year where we make certain that the names of the murdered are heard and held up, so we can all remember that these people mattered, were real, were loved, and are missed. It's a day to gather the community together and call attention to the violence directed against us and the caring we have for each other. It came from us. It was built by us. It was never supposed to be flashy or glitzy. It is a solemn mourning for the dead, a place to hold hands, and a promise to those who violence took away from us that we who are still living will hold together, take care of each other, and push forward together into a world where that violence is only a painful memory.
I will never understand what motivates someone to kill another human being when their life is not in danger. I will never understand what it is inside someone that makes them pick up a weapon instead of simply walking away. I will never understand how human life can have so little value to some people. But I know that there are people in this world, far too many people, who can kill. Who can pick up a gun or a knife or a rock and strike out. For what? Because someone doesn't meet your expectations? Because they live their life in a way you don't approve of? Which god tells you that you can do that? Which god gives you permission? And how can the world, how can so many otherwise decent people, simply nod and say 'well, what did you expect? Not guilty!'?