Erev tov, good evening. This erev, this evening, is the first havdalah of September 2019, Elul and Tishrei, when we transition from Shabbat to a new week. Near the end of this month, we will transition to a new season, with the Fall Equinox. At the end of this month, we will transition to a new year, from 5779 to 5780, with Rosh Hashanah.
And yet my trans sisters, brothers and other siblings continue to be taken from this life. Here in the US at least 17 have been stolen -- and all but one are Black trans women -- and they join dozens more in the rest of our world. This past Monday September 2nd, Labor Day, Bailey Reeves, 17, a Black trans teen, was shot to death in Baltimore -- only an hour from us here in Gaithersburg.
Our 16 other stolen siblings are Dana Martin, 31, Montgomery, Alabama, January 6th.
Jazzaline Ware, age unknown, Memphis, sometime in March.
Ashanti Carmon, 27 -- like Zoe, who she knew, right 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 May 14th.
Muhlaysia Booker, 23, Dallas, May 18th -- having survived a transphobic attack by a group on April 12th.
Michelle ‘Tamika’ Washington, 40, Philadelphia, May 19th.
Paris Cameron, 20, Detroit, May 25th -- Alunte Davis, 21, and Timothy Blancher, 20, both Black gay men, were also killed, and two other people were injured.
Chynal Lindsey, 26, Dallas, June 1st**.
Chanel Scurlock, 23, Lumberton, North Carolina, June 6th.
*Zoe Spears, 23 -- like Ashanti, who she knew, right here in Maryland, in Prince George’s County’s Fairmount Heights at the DC border, June 13th.
Brooklyn Lindsey, 32, Kansas City, Missouri, June 25th.
Denali Berries Stuckey, 29, North Charleston, South Carolina, July 20th.
Tracy Single, 22, Houston, July 30th.
Kiki Fantroy, 21, Miami, July 31st.
Jordan Cofer, 22, Dayton, August 4th -- by his own brother, along with eight other people and almost many more.
Pebbles LaDime “Dime” Doe, 24, Allendale County, South Carolina, also on August 4th.
**Johana ‘Joa’ Medina, 25, a Latinx trans woman from El Salvador, also died on June 1st, in El Paso, Texas -- just hours after being released from ICE custody. Layleen Polanco, 27, an Afro-Latinx trans woman, was found dead in her cell at Rikers (Island Jail, New York City) on June 7th.
Again, the great majority of our stolen siblings here are Black, women, and young -- elsewhere, they are Latinx trans women and transfeminine people. Too, very little attention is given to the murders, assaults and disappearances of Native / Indigenous people -- especially girls, women, and/or Two Spirit people.
We also lose many siblings to suicide -- the attempt rate in our community is over 40%. And there are unreported trans deaths, reported deaths where the victim is not identified as trans, non-fatal assaults and much more. Trans people are not included in even basic civil rights laws in most states, and several states have anti-trans laws or are attempting to pass them -- and Trump administration is attempting to undo trans rights progress on a national level.
And while I say little here or elsewhere about the death details -- primarily to avoid further traumatizing my trans followers, especially those living at similar intersections as the victims -- it is vital to say that the great majority are shootings, and that this is yet another reason we desperately need gun control, and it is an LGBTQ+ and racial justice issue.
May all of my trans siblings’ memories be blessings (as we say in Judaism) -- and call us to act! Today and every day, may we schlep ever closer to 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 #BlackLivesMatter #BlackTransLivesMatter #LatinxLivesMatter #LatinxTransLivesMatter #NativeLivesMatter #TwoSpiritLivesMatter #TransLivesMatter