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Transgender Day of Remembrance 2009 – the Exclusion Question Answered

November 20, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Thought of the Gay

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2009This year, I attended the Transgender Day of Remembrance ceremony at the Metropolitan Community Church (“MCC”) in San Antonio, Texas.  The services were planned and hosted by the San Antonio Gender Association (“SAGA”) with the chapel being provided by the MCC.  Ms. Lauryn Farris, President of SAGA, told those present that it was a celebration of remembrance and of hope.

Ms. Farris spoke of the words of E.B. White:

I wake up each morning torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to savor the world.

She went on to explain that Transgender Day of Remembrance was the “most important day” of the year for our trans brothers and sisters.  I took a moment to glance around the chapel, noting that several pews were empty.  The absence of the LGB community was noticeable and heartbreaking. Perhaps they decided it was their day to savor the world rather than reach out to help save it?

However, I recall the hundreds upon hundreds of LGBT people gathered for pride celebrations this past June, enough people to have turned the small chapel into a standing room only establishment, overflowing itself out into the streets.

I remember several community events over the past year that had members of SAGA present, standing soundly next to their friends and LGB family as we demanded marriage equality.  I watched one transgender woman stand before a group of 150 or so angry LGB people after the passage of Proposition 8 in California and explain the importance of a united voice, but those 150 people weren’t there on that MOST important day for our transgender friends.

Finally, a question for me was answered.  When people speak of exclusion, it is not about excluding them from our movement, it’s about excluding ourselves from theirs.  We must do better.

So now, I ask you my LGB brothers and sisters – who will you stand for other than yourself?  Will you go to your local gender association meeting and offer to help?  Can you spare some change or dollars to help them out?  Will you?

In honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance, and with help from wonderful web resources such as transgenderdor.org, I prepared the following video slide show: