Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance, and I invite everyone to take a moment to remember and honor the trans* and gender non-conforming people who have died due to violence and intolerance. I include gender non-conforming because transphobia isn’t limited to those who identify as trans*, it can be anyone perceived as trans, or really anyone who doesn’t conform to norms and expected behavior around gender can find themselves the target of hate and intolerance.
Though this is primarily a day to remember those who have died, to memorialize and honor their sacrifices, we should see it a bit more broadly as a day to consider how gender non-conforming people of all kinds are subjected to various levels of violence on a daily basis. Even if it’s something as seemingly small as being misgendered in a greeting, it’s something that tears at us, that wears us down and increases the stress in our lives. Even if it doesn’t kill us outright, this kind of subtle violence has a negative effect on our health and happiness.
We want to stop the murders and suicides that result from transphobic violence, that is first priority. Additionally, we need to work toward an increasingly healthy world for all of us to live in, free of restrictions based on gender, free of gender policing. Seeking out the root causes of that violence will help us prevent deaths and increase the health and happiness of trans* and gender non-conforming people. Please take some time today to think about what you can do in your own life to increase the safety and quality of life for trans* and gender non-conforming people. And if you’re not sure how to do that, take a little time to do some reading, find some primary source information (meaning, from and by trans* and gender non-conforming people) and learn about what’s important to us, what we see as solutions to our problems, and consider what you can do to help.
Today, Roxy has a brilliant post on her own journey through gender land, coming to some wonderful and creative conclusions about her own gender identity, I encourage you to check it out, Looney Tunes.
Also, Huffington Post has a great feature on 50 transgender icons you may or may not know about.
(I was just thinking that I’m travelling today, dealing with the TSA and airports which have been not so friendly to trans* and gender non-conforming people and I know I’m not the only traveler who approaches this interaction (I’ll try not to think of it as a confrontation) with some anxiety. Best travel wishes to all of you.)
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