Tag Archives: trans

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

São Paulo, Brazil

Renata Spencer
Tepeji Del Rio, Hidalgo, Mexico

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.

Dressbarn, Memories, and Humanizing Corporations


Debbie says:

Katelyn Burns, a journalist and transwoman whom I follow on Twitter, wrote a lovely memoir essay about the role of her local Dressbarn, first in her trying to save the (loving) marriage she was in before she transitioned, and then in providing her the perfect dress for her first day on the job with her new name and gender presentation.

Her essay is lovely and I recommend that you read it. And I doubt she will disagree with what I have to say, even though she didn’t address this issue.

“That particular Dressbarn, in a parking lot between an Olive Garden and a Super Cuts” has been a key spot in Burns’ life. And a little web-surfing turns up a general agreement that many Dressbarns have been friendly places for trans and transitioning women to try on clothes (along with a surprising number of other national chains).

But … Dressbarn’s management and its parent company management have (this almost goes without saying) never issued a trans friendly policy. There’s no reason to believe management would discipline an employee who was rude or inappropriate to a transwoman. And there’s certainly no clear record of sensitivity or inclusiveness training, or any simple way to find out if the management employs any transpeople.

Chain stores are designed for the convenience of the owners–not the customers, and surely not the employees. If we are treated well in chain stores, it’s because the staff is providing respectful and human interactions–which we are socialized and trained to then associate with the brand.

I couldn’t be happier that Katelyn Burns found what she needed at her local Dressbarn. And I completely get why she is sad to see Dressbarn closing.

At the same time, I feel sure that Burns is as aware as I am that the closing 650 stores is something the top management folks did in their own best interest–with no more concern for what happens to its laid-off employees than it does for whether or not Burns used one of its stores as a stepping stone to a new life. That Dressbarn was where Burns found what she needed–but Dressbarn as a disposable corporate entity doesn’t deserve the credit.