Leslie Feinberg passed on this past Saturday (the day of the Montgomery County MD Transgender Day of Remembrance 2014). Where to begin? I think I first became aware of her/hir as a high school senior -- her book "Stone Butch Blues" was published the year I formally came out as trans. And several years later I met hir, when she/zie came to speak at Arlington Street Church where I was on staff. May hir memory be a blessing (as we say in Judaism, and Leslie's Jewish identity is part of what zie means to me). Here is her obituary in the Advocate, written by her wife Minnie Bruce Pratt. This graphic is the Advocate's, from Facebook.
And at MoCo MD TDOR, we shared Leslie's words for the Chalice Lighting: "Why are we different? Why have we refused to walk one of two narrow paths, but instead demanded the right to blaze our own? The question is not why were we unwilling to conform even when being beaten to the ground by ridicule and brutality.The real burning question is: How did we ever find the courage? From what underground spring did we draw our pride? How did each of us make our way in life, without a single familiar star in the night sky to guide us, to this room where we have at last found others like ourselves? And after so much of ourselves has been injured, or left behind as expendable ballast, many of us worry 'What do we have left to give each other? Upon what basis will we build something lasting between us?' We have the whole world to give back to each other."