remembering those lost
Today is the Trans Day of Remembrance in honor of the genderqueer and trans lives lost to hate crimes.
From the official website: “The Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on November 28th, 1998 kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Rita Hester’s murder — like most anti-transgender murder cases — has yet to be solved.”
Read Quench Zine’s post on the trans day of remembrance. (Thanks to Feministing for the link.)
Check out the Transgender Law Center, including this awesome booklet on Beyond the Binary: A Toolkit for Gender Identity Activism in Schools. Forward it to the teachers in your life.
It’s only very recently that I’ve been seeing my own butchness as a form of trans-gender, within the past year.
These are some of the things that have happened to me within the last month or so, based on my gender appearance:
My uncle’s young grandson called me male pronouns all night during a dinner party with family
A little kid asked, “Mommy, is that a boy or a girl?” behind me in line at the grocery store
A man yelled “fag!” at me on the street (I was puzzled. I wasn’t sure he meant me. I said, “I think the word you’re looking for is dyke.” Perhaps in retrospect I should’ve said, “you wish you could suck my cock.”) This was perhaps six weeks ago …
A woman or girl in a public bathroom came in, did a double take of me at the mirror, or sink, or coming out of the stall, or drying my hands, and said, “Am I in the right bathroom?” or “Is this the ladies’ room?” or “Is this … are you … am I …” or something equally awkward. This happens rather often
Generally, I get ignored on the streets of New York City, definitely in Midtown where I make my days, I tend to blend in, tend to have the general office uniform on and get scanned over, and even in the slightly off-the-beaten-path neighborhood where I have an apartment (though only for another few weeks) I don’t get harrassed or even noticed, much. But I recognize the rarity of that, and how lucky I am to generally feel safe in my body and gender expression. Not everyone like me is so lucky. And many others like me have been harassed, beaten, bullied, raped, and murdered for their own expression.
Makes me extraordinarily grateful for my wild and precious life.
PS: “Remembrance” is such a beautiful word.