Visible Transgender Day of Remembrance
12 Noon on Friday, November 20
Monument Circle, Indianapolis
RSVP: Facebook event
Why have a visible transgender day of remembrance?
Author: Korvin Bothwell
Transgender Day of Remembrance is a time for people to gather together and name those who were murdered in anti-transgender violence. It is a time to reflect, memorialize, and mourn our losses. In some ways this day is a difficult and sad reminder of the hostilities trans people face based on misunderstanding and lack of awareness. Trans people and our allies gather in pockets around the world rocked by a callous message from society at large: Fade out of sight; do not reveal who you are for fear of repercussions. We are reminded of the alienation, homelessness, unemployment, and harassment that we face. We brace ourselves against attacks culminating in the ultimate form of erasure: murder.
People who are harassed, assaulted and otherwise intimidated from participating in public life are removed from public life. They are not seen, and they are not represented. People fear what they don’t know and don’t understand, and this creates a cycle. Trans people are taken out of public life through violence which is perpetuated by people who don’t understand trans people because trans people are excluded from public life. In order to change this cycle we must become a known quantity.
We can publicly and visibly memorialize the lives of those who were murdered for simply being themselves. By making ourselves visible we honor the identity they fought to achieve and we stop the cycle of erasure. We cannot bring them back to life, but we can prevent them from being wiped out of our memory.
What is the cost of our invisibility? The names called off this year are only the people we know about. How many trans people were murdered and not counted in the US this year? How many bodies were dressed in unfamiliar clothes? How many identities and the struggles attached to achieving them were erased not just from the world but completely from the record?
Murder is the ultimate form of erasure. Combatting the ultimate erasure means creating the most visibility by discussing it in the most visible venue possible. When we talk about transgender people being erased the conversation needs to be held in public. In broad daylight we are gathering, and together we can combat this erasure by publicly welcoming, supporting, and listening to each other. Welcome trans people and allies. Support trans people and allies. Help each other. Witness your neighbors’ tears and let yourself be seen. Let’s support each other as we mourn our losses and lift each other up as we face a new year and work for the day that we can join together under happier circumstances.
If it is safe for you to do so, please consider attending the Visible Transgender Day of Remembrance at noon on Friday, November 20 at the circle. The Facebook event is here – https://www.facebook.com/events/1797021253858240/