Thursday, November 18, 2010

The TDOR Is A Memorial, Not A Party

One of the things that I've heard over and over from some quarters of the trans community about the upcoming November 20 worldwide celebration of the Transgender Day of Remembrance is that it's 'too somber' or 'depressing'.

Um, hello  It's a memorial to the people we've lost to anti-transgender violence.   It's not supposed to be a happy-happy joy-joy event.

TDOR is designed to point out to the media the cost of anti-trans violence.  It's an opportunity for our allies to do intersectional work with our community and support us on one of our issues.  And when I lost my friend Nakhia to violence while living in Louisville back in 2008, it became a way to show the family and friends of the departed transperson how much we love and respect that individual and provide some closure for all who knew the person.

It is not an opportunity for GLAAD, HRC or other GL orgs to fundraise in our community for your coffers, or for college students or people to have an excuse to party.   You want a party, then do so on the International Day of Trans Visibility or pick another day on the calendar such as TDOR founder Gwen Smith suggested, the August anniversary date of the 1966 Compton's Cafeteria riots..  

TDOR exists as a day for us to memorialize the people that we've lost and get people to focus on the fact we are taking the brunt of violence aimed at the TBLG community.   I damned sure as a transperson of African descent want to keep it in the forefront of people's minds that 70% of the people we memorialize every year are transpeople of color..  

There are 364 other days on the calendar (365 in a leap year) for partying.   This isn't one of them.

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