Transgender Day of Remembrance: Remember the livingon November 18th, 2011 at 9:45 pm
Activist and Pride Foundation volunteer Bobbie Zenker examines grief, celebration and why we need to observe the Transgender Day of Remembrance.
Every December 21 for almost 23 years, the families of victims of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing have gotten together for a memorial of their lost loved ones. As the death of the Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, largely held responsible for the terrorist attack that took those 270 people, unfolded before us this Fall, I wondered why do they still have this memorial?
The victims have long turned to dust. The mourners must have worked through their grief. No, something greater drives them. It must be injustice that brings them together.
This year we will observe again a Transgender Day of Remembrance. Though most of us are not related to Angie Zapata, Jennifer Pate, and the many others who have fallen to what can seem like a hate plagued world, we too mourn. We feel sorrow. We seek justice – not only for those who have died, but also for the living.
We want to have the kind of jobs that will allow us to pay our share, commensurate with our knowledge, skills, experience, and ability. We want homes and families. We want services at places like emergency rooms, and we do not want to be beat up at McDonald’s because we are transgender. Yet, hate, fear, and ignorance bring injustice that too often results in violence or isolation that results in suicide. Yet, we remember.
It is good, but there must be action too. Justice will come, but, only if we bring it. We are not alone on this journey. Anyone who is marginalized, ostracized, or criticized simply for what or who they are – impaired, of color, religious, same sex lovers, other gendered, etc. – walks the same road, and to paraphrase Dr. King, injustice to anyone is injustice to everyone.
This sentiment has been uttered with reverence in America since Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister, wrote the original Pledge of Allegiance in August 1892. (Ironically enough, Bellamy was said to be a Christian Socialist.)
The author’s own thoughts include these: “But we as a nation do stand square on the doctrine of liberty and justice for all…”
So how do we bring these fanciful words, liberty and justice for all to realization? “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi. If we want to end hate, we must be loving. If we want to end fear, we must be confident. If we want to end ignorance, we must be educated. If we want justice, than we must be just.
It is not enough to be concerned with only our little piece of the world, vis-a-vis, LGBT rights. We must be loving, confident, educated and just with everyone, for that is the only road to liberty and justice for all. That is why we remember.
2011 MONTANA TRANSGENDER DAY OF REMEMBRANCE EVENTS
BILLINGS: November 19, 2011
Featuring Ethan Saint Pierre, the voice of Sodium Pentathol on TransFM radio.
BOZEMAN: November 21, 2011, 7:00 PM, MSU SUB Room 233
Featuring Memorial & Vigil
ANACONDA: November 20, 2011, 7:00 PM, Presbyterian Church
Contact: Dawnne Woodie 406-559-0870