I remember the first time I was aware of the concept of someone being transgendered was when I was 9 years old.
I knew Auntie K was trans*, but since I’d only ever known her as a woman, it didn’t really matter to me one way or another. When my mom’s partner began transition, I remember we were standing in our tiny kitchen, and we were crying. Because it was confusing. Because it was new. Because we’d been through a lot in the last year.
But it never crossed my mind, not for one instant, that people would think this was wrong.
Maybe that’s because I was raised in the village of the misfits. Maybe it’s because my family included trans* people who had already gone through transition, maybe because my father was a drag queen, maybe because most of my adopted uncles were gay men.
I just never questioned it.
Which is why, when I hear about another death of another trans* person, my blood runs cold. Those deaths affect me because I fear for my family and friends. I fear for the people I love. And THEY fear.
Ignorance breeds hate. Hate breeds violence. Violence results in death.
Anyone whose ignorance in 2013 is based out of fear and hate is complicit in the deaths of my people.
Transgender murders in North and South America in July occurred at a rate almost 50 percent higher than that of gays and lesbians according to a new study.
238 names will be read today at TDOR events, remembering the deaths of those who have been killed because of who they are. My heart breaks for every one of them.
Do you want to be an ally? Do you want to stand for human rights? Then educate yourself. Call people out on the hatred that leads to these deaths. Make people hear us. Because right now, these deaths are caused entirely because of fear.
Stand up in your churches and demand that ALL people are God’s children. Ask your religious leaders to create safe space for trans* people. Ask them to preach tolerance and not intolerance. Stand up in your schools and make sure that trans* students are protected. Stand up in your communities and welcome trans* people into them without questioning. Don’t shut the door on community.
Ignorance is complicity in death. Don’t be complicit.