Michael Crawford

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Filed By Michael Crawford | November 17, 2007 8:53 AM | comments

Filed in: The Movement, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: hate crimes against LGBT people, Transgender Day of Remembrance, transgender rights

I know that Bilerico contributors like Marti Abernathy, Rebecca Juro and others will have much to say about the Transgender Day of Remembrance, but I came across these amazing speeches from transgender ministers Drew Phoenix, pastor of St. John's United Methodist Church in Baltimore, MD and Presbyterian minister Rev. Erin Swenson and wanted to share them. This year November 20th will mark the 9th Transgender Day of Remembrance which began as a way to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on November 28th, 1998 kicked off the "Remembering Our Dead" web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Rita Hester's murder -- like most anti-transgender murder cases -- has yet to be solved.

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A big part of the reason why so many of these murders remain unsolved, besides the devaluing of transgender lives by both politicians and police, is that unlike hate crimes committed because of race, ethnicity, biological gender, religion, or sexuality, hate crimes based on transgender status are not tracked by the FBI or any other government agency.

While these other hate crimes are tracked by our government, we transfolks at least are lucky enough to have our own tracked and compiled by one, extremely dedicated man, Ethan St. Pierre. If not for Ethan, there would be no comprehensive statistics on transgender hate crimes at all.

And people wonder why so many of us come out with guns blazing against those in Congress and in our own activist community who would sell us out to make life easier for themselves.

People are dying out here while politicians and the HRC play games with our lives and our basic civil rights!

This is why it is important for all GLBT people to take responsibility for their own safety. I Have after 2 beatings and the three attempts that occurred after that empowered me and put me in charge of my own safety. Knowing that the Cops won't do anything to pursue the perpetrators has made it easier for me to use the force necessary with a clear conscience to stop my attacker.

If more of us started fighting back and a few of the attackers ended up dead this would do much stem the violence against GLBT folk.

Your Safety Is Your Responsibility, Nobody Else.

Susan Robins