Today was the Transgender Day of Rememberance. I forgot about this fact until just now, when here in the UK there's only about 80 minutes of it left, which I'm not proud of. But I wanted to post about it because I know there's still a lot of time left in some parts of the world. And really, even if it's not the 20th where you are, the main aim of TDOR is to promote awareness of the issue, not to get everybody to do something on one specific day.
I, as many of you already know, am transgendered myself; I'm a trans woman. A lot - and I mean a lot - of transgendered people have had their lives cut short the past year. I say a lot even though there are 'only' 27 listed (page lists causes of death and links to articles) because to me, it is a lot, and there are almost certainly a whole lot of others not listed.
None of these deaths were necessary, and they speak to a big problem in this world. We need to be able to accept people; that's all it takes. The fact that we can't even do that makes me really sad. :(
Like my friend rho (who has written her own piece on this year's TDoR), I'm public about my transgendered status. That's not to say that everybody I interact with will know, but that if it comes up or is relevant, I'll tell them about it. That's a personal choice I've made, because in order to prevent this sort of thing from happening, people need to know that we exist, and that we're not freaks; we're just normal people, like everybody else.
But I completely support those who don't want to do that, because some people don't want to be known as 'that girl who thinks she's a guy' or 'the weirdo in the skirt'. And I can't say I blame them - that sort of crap hurts. And, of course, this is speaking from a position of privilege; I have it really easy compared to a lot of others.
Yet even in the privileged world I live in, the threat to trans people is a lot greater than to cis people (cis- being the opposite to trans-). Quite frankly, it sucks in a lot of ways to be trans. No, we are most emphatically not "getting the best of both worlds", and if you think we are, let me know so I can point you to some resources and explain why that isn't the case.
But it doesn't have to be this way. You can help, by spreading the word. Let people know we exist, and explain to them why it's not okay to think of us as freaks. Don't let the deaths of transgendered people in the last year be in vain.
Our time will come.