Today, November 20th, is Transgender Day of Remembrance. And while it is wonderful to have a day in which as a society we think and reflect on the contributions of transgender people and the state of affairs of the gender justice movement, transgender people should not be a once a year thought. With inequities in accessing healthcare, education, housing, and an average income of less than $10,000 a year, it is imperative we uplift transgender people all year long.
With skyrocketing rates of unemployment, troubling levels of housing discrimination as well as alarming prevalence of health inequities, it is evident that transgender people in today’s society are actively persecuted and killed by individuals and systems whose aim is to erase us from the face of the earth. And while it is important to address the countless human rights violations transgender people face on a daily basis, it is equally important to remember and celebrate our lives and the lives of those who are no longer with us outside the context of violence and death.
We are multidimensional and complex beings with rich and nuanced lives. Focusing only on the violence we face oversimplifies and insults our existence.
Today is an opportunity for cisgender people to remember those within the transgender communities who are no longer with us and bring to light the power, resilience, strength, and defiance that comes from living unapologetically in our gender.
Today is also a day for cisgender people to evaluate their level of engagement and commitment to eradicate structural oppression through actions beyond a single tweet and beyond just remembering those of us who lost their lives to a pandemic outbreak of personalized and systematized violence against transgender people.
In order to truly honor transgender lives, we need tangible actions and a demonstrated commitment in eliminating root causes that lead to the death of transgender people.
Transgender Day of Remembrance was purposefully created to raise awareness of the realities transgender people face as well as grow a solidarity movement of cisgender people that through actions engage in the creation of a safe world for transgender people to exercise their self-determination, agency, and human right to self-express, so we can all thrive.
As a transgender immigrant Latina, I invite everyone to remember those whom we have lost and join me in affirming, honoring, and celebrating all transgender people today and every day!
Catalina Velasquez is EROC's Communications Director. Contact Catalina at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @ConsultCatalina. To learn more about how to support End Rape On Campus and the Centering the Margins initiative, click here.
Photo From: http://militarypartners.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/TDOR.jpg