Trans Lives Matter – Transgender Day of Remembrance 2017

Alyssa Chenault, Communications Manager, Equitas Health

This Transgender Day of Remembrance, it continues to be important to say “trans lives matter”. In 2017, at least 27 transgender people were killed just for being themselves.

But what does a cis white woman know about being trans or the trans experience, you might ask? No more than what I read in articles, watch in videos, and hear from co-workers, friends, and speakers at community events. What I do know is the value I see trans and non-binary people bring to the workplace, friendships, and the community. To me, our trans and non-binary friend and co-workers are our brightest lights. Their passion, experiences, and creativity make them a joy to be around. That’s why when Transgender Day of Remembrance comes each year, I feel this dark cloud descend. I think about how our world is a little less bright because of the senseless loss of someone’s loved one.  I wonder about all the contributions we’re going to miss out on because they are no longer with us. Additionally, I think about all the trans and gender non-conforming people who’ve been abused or attacked for just being their authentic selves. I think about the daily struggles they face to have a place to live or work that accepts them as they are, without having to put themselves at risk.  

Many of us have been in a funk since last November and feel like we’re being unfairly targeted because of who we are or what we think and feel. For most of us white cis-gender folk, this is a relatively new feeling. But for our trans and gender non-conforming friends, this is what they have to deal with day in and day out, in addition to all the stressors that come with everyday life.  

This Transgender Day of Remembrance, I challenge each of us to use this day as a catalyst for change. To reflect daily on how we each can raise more trans voices up, create more opportunities for trans people, and ultimately foster a society where we one day won’t need a Transgender Day of Remembrance anymore.  

I encourage you to listen into the first hour of the third edition of our “Health Equity Matters” podcast to hear about TDoR events happening around the state and from Kimberly Sue Griffiths, OCTOPUS LLC, Jacob Nash, Margie’s Hope, Melissa Marie Alexander, TransOhio, and Mikayla Robinson and Sile Singleton, Mozaic on what Transgender Day of Remembrance means to them.