Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance. It’s a date we set aside to intentionally mourn those in our trans and gender non-conforming community whose lives were violently taken. It’s a day where we acknowledge the ultimate price some were forced to pay for daring to live as themselves, and it’s a day we resolve to say “no more.”
I write this statement from my new home in Jacksonville, Florida which is the largest city in Florida and the transgender murder capital of the United States. Here, Transgender Day of Remembrance is personal. The Jacksonville transgender and gender non-conforming communities of color have watched as three of our own were murdered and the local police department proceeded to investigate with dead names. Those actions were not only an indignity to their memories, but also slowed down any viable leads to solve their murders. Lives were lost, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act was violated and members of the community felt alienated.
As tragic as these truths are, we need to own that these are realities that transgender and gender non-conforming folx navigate so we can accomplish creating a better future. Today and everyday we must recognize that death is far to high a price which no one should ever be forced to pay.
Today we mourn the dead and resolve to fight like hell for the living. We fight for every employee who dares use their pronouns at work. We fight for every person who still is not comfortable coming out. We fight for those in our community who are pushed to the streets, and we fight like hell for justice in the name of those we have lost. #SayHerName today and everyday.
We invoke your names, your memories, and your divine spirits. May your souls find peace, and may our community do all that we can to ensure that the violence against our communities comes to an end.