TODAY, Wednesday November 20th, 2019, is the 21st annual Transgender Day Of Remembrance (TDOR), the center of Trans Week and Trans Month.
In 1998, the murder of Rita Hester, a Black transgender woman, in my hometown of Boston, led to the creation of this Day. The other trans people murdered in my home state of Massachusetts that we know of are Denise Pugliesi, Georgette Hart, Diane Carter, Monique Rogers, Debra Forte (the aunt of a trans colleague), Chanelle Pickett, Monique Thomas, and Lisa Daniels. I also remember CJ Garber, the trans son of two ally colleagues (one of whom has since
passed away), who died of an overdose.
When Rita was murdered, I was 22, and living in Boston, as I always had; born there in 1976, I had been out and about for several years as a trans person and advocate at the time she was taken. In 2014 I moved here to Gaithersburg (Maryland) to begin living with my spouse.
At least two trans people were murdered in this country between last TDOR and the end of 2018 -- Tydi Dansbury and Keanna Mattel. In 2019, at least 22 have been murdered here -- and all but one are Black, all but two are women, and most are young. Hundreds more have been murdered in the rest of our world, and most of them are Latina and Latinx.
- 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, also 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.
- Bubba Walker, 55, Charlotte, North Carolina, end of July.
- 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.
- Bailey Reeves, 17, Baltimore -- only an hour from us here in Gaithersburg.
- Bee Love Slater, 23, Clewiston, Florida, September 4th.
- Jamagio Jamar Berryman, 30, also Kansas City, September 13th.
- Itali Marlowe, 29, Houston, September 20th.
- Brianna “BB” Hill, 30, also Kansas City, October 14th.
Too, very little attention is given to the murders, assaults and disappearances of Native / Indigenous people -- especially girls, women, and/or Two Spirit people. November is Trans Month and also Native Month -- and next Thursday, “Thanksgiving” Day, is the 50th annual Day Of Mourning.
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 the 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 sisters, brothers and other 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 and male supremacy! Amen!
(The image is a collage I made today with Pixlr Express -- photos of everyone except Jazzaline, with four copies of a photo I took (a trans-symbol pendant with a tealight and stones).)
#TDOR #TDOR2019 #TransDayOfRemembrance #BlackLivesMatter #BlackTransLivesMatter #LatinxLivesMatter #LatinxTransLivesMatter #NativeLivesMatter #TwoSpiritLivesMatter #TransLivesMatter