One friend of mine in particular has been challenging me to say why the Women’s Center spends any of its clearly finite time and energy on organizing an observance of the Transgender Day of Remembrance. That question no doubt deserves some extended reflection and comment. Here, however, are some preliminary thoughts:
Because this year some people died too soon, because someone hated them to death because of their gender, or how they lived it.
Because transgender people are real people, created in the image of God, and because every person’s life is unique and precious to God, and because anti-transgender murder denies both those things.
Because the killers of transgender people often go to great lengths to obliterate the memory of these people, so preserving that memory is an act of solidarity and resistance.
Because we affirm that no one’s life is disposable or not worth mourning and honoring.
Because whether or not we are transgender ourselves, transgender people are our neighbors, relatives, friends, colleagues, students, teachers, parishioners, pastors – that is, valued and valuable members of our world.
Because the “gender” in transgender concerns everyone; gender issues are women’s issues.
Because we are working for a world in which no one becomes the victim of deadly violence for refusing to conform to someone’s expectation of what is proper for a man or a woman.
Because difference is not defect; because the idea that there is a right and a wrong way to have or live gender, and that the current norm is that right way, is a mistake.
Because it is not yet totally obvious enough to everyone why the Women’s Center supports the Transgender Day of Remembrance.
Because we are working for a time when the reasons the Women’s Center would support the Transgender Day of Remembrance are obvious, but the observance itself is no longer necessary – because people no longer die from anti-transgender violence.