Blast from the Past: Transgender Day of Remembrance
I have a personal blog in which I write about a wide variety of things. The President’s announcement today upset me greatly, both as an ally of the LGBTQ+ community and someone who worked for the Dept. of the Army during the days of “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell.” Good service members are harmed by discrimination like this. I have said many times that I try hard not to be political on my author blog, but today I cannot sit quietly. This post, from my personal blog of November 23, 2009, explains part of the reason why.
I have transgender friends.
In addition, there are some 7,000 transgender people currently serving in the US military who are now going to be discriminated against.
It is a hideous irony that the President made his discriminatory announcement on the anniversary of Executive Order 9981, which integrated the US Armed Forces in 1948.
Last night was the Transgender Remembrance Service at MCC San Jose. The names of all 147 transgendered persons murdered since the last remembrance were read aloud, and a candle lit for each one.
Reverend Mike gave an impassioned talk at the beginning of the service, talking about how many people were unnamed in the list shown here: http://www.transgenderdor.org/?page_id=555. They were unnamed because no one came forward to claim them after they died. Reverend Mike said that the reason we do this event is that we claim every one of these people as part of our family … and I concur with him. Deacon Woody also did a beautiful talk on what it was like to be transgendered, and how grateful he was to be part of our church. Reverend Sky placed the book of names on the communion table, to symbolize welcoming those who have passed to our table.
It horrifies me that such violence exists at all. This is very personal to me now, even though I have had trans friends for some time … but Misha really brought it home in a way that was visceral.
I will be speaking out about against this violence even more than I already have done, you may rest assured of that. One hundred and forty-seven people violently killed because of trying to be who they really were … triple the number from last year’s remembrance. This has to stop.