Last Friday May 17th was the 15th annual Day Against LGBTQ+-phobia and the House passed the Equality Act, and this past weekend was Capital Trans Pride. And yet today I am learning that this month has included the third, fourth and fifth murders of transgender people in this country in 2019. And all five are Black trans women.
Dana Martin, 31, Montgomery, Alabama, January 6th. Ashanti Carmon, 27 -- here in Maryland, in Prince George’s County’s Fairmount Heights at the DC border, March 30th. Claire Legato, 21, Cleveland, shot April 15th and died last Tuesday May 14th. Muhlaysia Booker, 23, Dallas, this past Saturday May 18th -- having survived an attack by a group of people on April 12th, also in Dallas. And Michelle Tameka Washington, 40, in Philadelphia yesterday. May their memories be blessings, as we say in Judaism, and ones that call us to act!
Last November 20th was the 20th annual Transgender Day Of Remembrance (TDOR), when we remembered almost 30 trans people murdered in this country in the past year, and more than 360 more murdered elsewhere in our world. And the great majority of our stolen siblings here are Black, women, and young (and there have been multiple murders in several locations); elsewhere, the majority are Latinx trans women and transfeminine people. Too, very little attention is given to the murders of and assaults on Native / Indigenous people who are Two Spirit.
Last year included a murder in my home state of Massachusetts -- Christa Steele Knudslien in North Adams; she was a trans advocacy colleague, and we were Friends here. And a murder here in Maryland -- Tydi Dansbury, in Baltimore, an hour from me here in Gaithersburg. Roxana Hernández died in ICE custody after being abused there, and Nikki Enriquez was one of four women victims of an intel supervisor for US Border Patrol.
I also remember Nicole Hall, a Black trans woman found dead in Dallas last May. And my siblings lost to suicide, as the attempt rate in our community is over 40%. And every year there are unreported deaths, and reported ones where the victim is not identified as trans.
May all of my trans sisters, brothers and other siblings’ memories be a blessing -- and one that calls us to act, particularly at trans justice’s intersection with racial, immigration and economic justice! May we continue schlepping towards tikkun olam, world repair, at the intersection of LGBTQ+, climate, racial, immigration, spiritual, fat, disability, and all other stripes of the rainbow of justice! May we never forget that white supremacy has always included cis supremacy, misogyny and transphobia! Amen!
#TDOR #TDOR2019 #TransDayOfRemembrance #DanaMartin#AshantiCarmon #ClaireLegato #MuhlaysiaBooker#MichelleTamekaWashington #BlackLivesMatter #BlackTransLivesMatter#TransLivesMatter 🏳️⚧🕯💔