On this Trans Day of Remembrance, I reflect on the amazing strengths of trans people. These include our ability to survive, our courage, our resilience, our ability to speak out and tell the truth about our lives and where it gets a chance, the amazing attributes of trans people such as the creative genius of Lana Wachowski or the political leadership of Georgina Beyer. I think of our ability to build, slowly in some places, faster in others our allies across society and community.
Yes, I reflect also on those we have lost through transphobic hate crimes. TGEU’s monitoring service sadly reports 239 known murders in the 12 months to 31 October 2013. I remember those we have lost to transphobia in general such as inadequate medical care, unemployment or homelessness. I state the extremely obvious: 239 too many.
I ask people to pause for a moment on this day and remember this apparent paradox; remember those lost and remember trans strengths too.
For whatever reason I am also thinking of a trans woman who sadly left us in 2004 (from causes other than transphobia), that person being Jenny Phillips. Jenny was hugely involved in Victoria’s GLBT Anti-Violence Project and was also an editor of Seahorse Club of Victoria’s magazine, the Seahorse Times. At the end of every column she wrote she quoted 2 lines from the song, sung by John Farnham and written by Andy Qunta, Keith Reid, Maggie Ryder and Chris Thompson being “You’re the Voice.”
We’re not gonna sit in silence
We’re not gonna live with fear
We will stand and speak and we will live with courage. We will courageously seek out allies of all sorts and thereby paint into a corner those who would oppose us and our rights. Every person is entitled to live authentically in line with their soul and that includes trans and gender diverse.
Peace and strength to all on this day.