Remember Me

I first read the play Hamlet when I was 13 years old. Although I refused to read any assigned books in English class, I secretly read a bunch of unassigned books on the side. Hamlet had been one of my first covert literary diversions. I still remember how moved I felt when the ghost of Prince Hamlet’s father, once a powerful king and warrior, pleads with his son, “Remember me.”

No longer mighty, no longer in control of his own life, all that remains is the memory of the Danish king in the minds and hearts of others. Considering the violence and treachery that led to the King’s assassination, the plaintive request gave me a deep pang at the injustice of his death and the fragility of his life.

Last night I attended the Transgender Day of Remembrance commemoration in Seattle, WA. This is the fourth year in a row I have gone to this event that remembers the all too many transgender people who have been murdered in the past year. Sitting there last night, hearing over and over how these trans women and men (and even the parent of a trans child) experienced unbelievably violent and cruel deaths, I felt that deep pang again. After a trans person read a narrative, they concluded with the simple phrase, “We remember.”

In the midst of demonstrations over state bans for gays and lesbians marriage, in a rising activist movement some have called Stonewall 2.0, I urge every gay, lesbian, bisexual person and straight ally, to take some time an attend a Transgender Day of Remembrance ceremony. (Most take place on Thursday Nov 20). If you cannot attend one or there is not one near you, please visit the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) site.

Sit with these stories. Fellowship in the sufferings of our sisters and brothers. Allow their stories to settle in, to shock you, to sadden you, to fill you with a determination to stand up for the protections and rights of ALL queer people, especially our transgender sisters, brothers and gender-others.

You can see a full listing of TDOR events here.
You can read read the stories of those lost in 2008 here.
Also check out TDOR web comic site.

Read, Reflect, Remember.

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This post has 4 Comments

  1. Diana on November 20, 2008 at 3:29 am Reply

    And the violence never ends, in Syracuse NY a 22 year trans-woman was shot and killed Friday night.

    In addition, because of the social rejection and repression of being in a highly oppressed community can often lead to self-destruction. Studies have found that over 32% of the trans-community has attempted suicide.

  2. Drik on November 20, 2008 at 6:43 am Reply

    I went to a mass last sunday, and I will be attending a manifestation on friday.

  3. alexander resare on November 20, 2008 at 7:30 am Reply

    unfortunately I just can’t listen to these stories. I could hardly read your post. I won’t attend the local TDOR event today.

    It’s to much for me. I need to shut it out and pretend the world is something it’s not right now.

    Maybe next year. Probably not.

  4. p2son on November 20, 2008 at 8:06 am Reply

    Alex, I understand. My hope is that non-trans folks will go to these events.

    Hope you mend nicely.

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