It’s November 20th and the 16th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. If it’s a new idea to you, to mark this day, then I invite you to take a long painful look at the violence and rejection faced by our transgender family and friends, neighbors across our nation and world, every single day.
Especially today we’re remembering that our words feed into a larger mass of intolerance, fear and ignorance that will metastasize into physical violence, injury and death.
I’ll emphasize two important things from my last statement:
1) I believe we all carry some responsibility for the violence and deaths when we speak rejection, speak hatred and speak intolerant judgment toward transgender people. Our words can either support and build or diffuse and remove the hatred and fear toward our transgender neighbors, and…
2) Violence will happen toward our transgender neighbors; this is not an if but a when situation. This means it is crucial that we work toward a safer world for these precious, valuable fellow humans.
I invite you to make a conscious change when you speak of people, especially our transgender neighbors around the country and our world. I humbly offer these suggestions, believing them to be moral and needed responses:
1) No more jokes about transgender. It’s often a terrifying and painful situation for someone to contemplate or begin transitioning. It’s also often a time of joy and relief. They are seeing counselors and doctors and undertaking major change in their lives… they don’t need any more stress or trouble from us.
2) Let’s educate ourselves on the violence. Let’s dare to look at the numbers and the problem of violence toward our transgender neighbors and ask why it is happening and how we can help put it to an end.
3) Don’t spread rumors and false assumptions about transgender people. I can’t help but think of groups who spread fear and false ideas about transgender people, like the negative ads most recently in Houston which portrayed transgender people as opportunistic sexual predators. This is disgusting and not needed in our society.
4) Simply speak to and about people with dignity, all people. This isn’t as they say rocket science. When speaking of a transgender person, give them the courtesy and dignity of kindness. When speaking to a transgender person, give them the courtesy and dignity of kindness. Your grandmother will be proud.
We don’t have a Transgender Day of Remembrance to set our transgender neighbors apart, but to highlight the need to work together toward safer and more dignified inclusion. As human beings, as fellow citizens and as people of faith, it is our responsibility to participate in making this world a safe place for all our neighbors.We share this world; let’s share it responsibly and joyfully.
~ My post on November 20th 2014 Transgender Day of Remembrance with some amazing video footage.
~ My post on the problem of sexuality and violence.
~ My post earlier this year hoping for more unity in our humanity.