Today is the Transgender Day of Remembrance, a solemn reminder that we have lost precious members from our communities. According to gender.org’s site,
The Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside 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 in 1998 kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Since then, the event has grown to encompass memorials in dozens of cities across the world.
Below is a list of who we remember this year, knowing that most likely others died, but we have yet to hear their stories. Even in death some families deny the transgender identity of their sons and daughters and brothers and sisters. This list only includes people in the USA. We also remember those in other countries who lost their lives this year due to anti-transgender violence.
The list below is stark in the simple details of name, location, cause and date of death. Beyond their violent deaths, I feel a need to know about their lives and remember the living parts of them as well–the struggles they faced, the victories, the people they loved, the joy they brought into the world, the contributions they made, the lives they lived.
Nakia Ladelle Baker
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Cause of Death: Blunt force trauma to the head
Date of Death: January 7, 2007
Location: San Francisco, California
Cause of Death: She had been strangled and was found naked in the street.
Date of Death: March 16, 2007
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Cause of Death: A car repeatedly struck her
Date of Death: March 23, 2007
Bret T. Turner
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Cause of Death: Multiple stab wounds
Date of Death: April 2, 2007
Location: San Pedro, California
Cause of Death: Denied necessary medications to treat HIV-related side effects.
Date of Death: July 20, 2007
Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
Cause of Death: Shot to death
Date of Death: July 29, 2007
Location: Houston, Texas
Cause of Death: AIDS; Reyes was turned away from several treatment centers due to her transgender status.
Date of Death: August 30, 2007
Thank you Diana for listing these details on your site.
As I read my “morning blogs,” my heart is warmed to find so many of my gay and lesbian friends remembering today. Thank you for having true compassion–for suffering with those who have suffered and who continue to suffer. Please do not think of yourself as merely an ally today. When you choose to suffer with us–when you acknowledge the simple fact that when one suffers, all suffer–you cease to be an ally. In a profound and sublime way, you become one of us. This deep truth is as theological as it is anthropological, and it is universal, perhaps the only universal truth there is, or the only one that is ultimately worth knowing.
My prayer today is that I may apprehend this truth. May I receive the grace of suffering with you, my friends, and with all people, that we may all be one.
Two days late, I know, but my heart goes out to the 12 families and groups of friends who lost their loved ones in the last year. It still strikes me as so horribly ironic that the Day of Remembrance is two days before Thanksgiving. What a mean trick to play. I mean, it’s awful anyway, but.. I mean, they’re two days in the same week with totally different moods attached to them.
In any case, thank you for blogging about this.
Love to you, Sweet P.