Tag Archives: tdor

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Debbie says:

2020 hasn’t just been a miserable year of pandemic, police murder, and poverty — it has also been an extremely violent year in our violent society. The murder rate is rising in most cities, and when the murder rate rises, murders of trans people rise faster.

So we can’t ignore Trans Day of Remembrance. Heath Owens and Adam Schubak, writing for Elle, provide a list with pictures of the 34 (!) identifiably trans people murdered this year, whose names we should know. One of them is Tony McDade, whose murder by police got some attention, but that he was trans was not often mentioned.

I like to pick one person from these lists of loss, and put my mind on an individual, rather than a wall of names.

So I randomly picked Riah Milton (photograph above). Here’s what they say about her:

Riah Milton, 25, loved to travel and be outdoors, her mother, Tracey Milton, told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “She just wanted to be accepted for who she was,” her mother said.

She’s beautiful, she looks very thoughtful in that picture, and her mother clearly accepted her as who she wanted to be. She should be around to enjoy that. I would like to have known her.

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Transgender Day of Remembrance 2019: And the List Goes On

Debbie says:

The Transgender Day of Remembrance official site is black today, with names, locations, and a little bit of information about each of the dead since November 21 of last year.

I just picked three at random:

Flavia Santana
Anapolis, Brazil
8-Mar-19
2019
strangled

Perla
São Paulo, Brazil
8-Mar-19
2019
shot

Renata Spencer
Tepeji Del Rio, Hidalgo, Mexico
9-Mar-19
2019
stoned

Trans people, especially trans women, and especially trans women of color are at great risk of personal violence. The United States is far from free of the taint of this danger, and certainly that won’t change as long as we have this president, or this party in power.

So Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) must be honored. TDoR has been observed for 20 years, and began in response to the murders of Black trans women Rita Hester and Chanelle Pickett.

In 2015, an organization called BreakOUT! in New Orleans founded Trans Day of Resilience to bring celebration in along with the grief and anger. BreakOUT! partners with Forward Together, and they ask that folks “honor trans and nonbinary lives by sharing our art with your community today.”  One piece from their front page is pictured above. Check out the rest. The artists are credited extensively, but not in connection with their pieces, so I don’t know who made this beautiful art. Here’s one artist bio:

féi hernandez is a Mexican trans non-binary immigrant spiritual healer, writer, actor, visual artist and graphic designer. They grew up undocumented in Inglewood, California and has continued community work through their writing and art. féi’s writing has been featured in NPR, Immigrant Review, Non Binary: Memoirs of Gender and Identity, The BreakBeat Poets Volume 4: LatiNEXT, Good Mood, Live Wire, and Hayden’s Ferry Issue 64. Their art work has been exhibit at Galería de La Raza, is featured in the Latino Book Review 2019, and is currently working on a digital collection of artwork for exhibit. They are currently the Art Director of Palms Up Academy and Lorenzana Services Inc. and teach Crafting Eternity, a writing class for developing writers in Los Angeles. féi has a forthcoming full-length poetry collection published through Sundress Publications on the intersections of race, identity, gender, the hood, immigration, and sexuality.

Remembrance and resilience, grief and joy, acknowledgment and resistance go hand in hand. It is a huge credit to the trans community that they and their allies celebrate these two days together.

By the time you read this, it may not be Trans Day of Resilience where you are. Don’t let that stop you from sharing this art, and this message.