Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Houston 2011 TDOR Musings

The 13th Annual TDOR has come and gone for another year, and for the second straight year since I returned home I attended the Houston TDOR event on the UH campus.   .

This year instead of it being in the AD Bruce Religion Center's chapel, it was at Farish Hall

There were six speakers each making brief statements and one of them was HISD trustee Anna Eastman.  In a moving speech that garnered her a standing ovation, she surprisingly mentioned me speaking in front of the HISD board when they were proposing to add the gender ID inclusive policies back in June.

I was surprised to learn that my speech swayed the board into voting affirmatively for those policies.  Ironically I was pissed off when I left the HISD administration building that night because I felt it was the worst public speech I'd done in a while, but it did the job along with the several years of lobbying by Jenifer Rene Pool and Chris Busby to get us to that point.

The UH LGBT Advocates did a wonderful job in organizing the event.   We had to start it 15 minutes late due to the traffic exiting Robertson Stadium in the wake of the UH-SMU game but it ran smoothly.

I enjoyed seeing my UH younglings again in Marshella, LaKeia, Yesenia, and James.   Sat at a table with Lorraine Schroeder and Jo Tittsworth who shared some info with me about where the 2012 TTNS will take place, but I'll wait until the TTNS folks are ready to announce its location and dates before I post it.

Also enjoyed seeing various people in the Houston TBLG community.   Enjoyed finally meeting Tim Brookover in the flesh, and meeting fellow blogger Daniel Williams' sister Melissa.  I enjoyed seeing Judge Frye, Vanity Wilde, Lilly Roddy, Janet Logan and Jenifer Pool along with a long list of people who attended this event. 

I also got teased by Councilmember Jolanda Jones about the post I wrote about her on the blog.   She was there as one of the people reading the names of the people we memorialized on the 2011 list.  

But the thing that bothered me as I listened to the names being read and how they died is the same thing as last year.  70% of the people being memorialized on the Remembering our Dead lists are trans persons of color.  The one that really got to me was 14 year old Brazilian Erica Pinheiro de Siqueira who was shot eleven times on Christmas Day.

Obviously, hatin' on transpeople doesn't stop during the holiday season.  One of the speakers also mentioned that the GL community needs to clean up its own act internally when it comes to the anti-trans hate in the it's ranks a point which I wholeheartedly agree with and have been saying ad nauseum since 1998 along with countless other trans people.

As Rev. Abena McCoy said during the November 20 Washington DC TDOR, where they had a much more trouble filled year:
“You are unique, and the Creator loves you just as you are. You are not a mistake. God doesn’t make mistakes…We celebrate transgender today. Lord, you knew what you were doing when you created transgender.” Rev Abena McCray
That the Creator did.   It's past time the rest of the world and certain religious denominations got that message. 

Now that another TDOR is in our community's rear view mirror, what are we going to do so that when the calendar turns to November 20, 2012 we aren't reading names of people on the list from the Houston area?  

Will this community do a better job of ensuring the TDOR ceremonies reflect the diversity of this city and state we are all proud to live in and be better representative of a community that is responsible for writing some of the transgender community's history?

And the one thought crossing all our minds is how long will the list of names we read next year be?

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