Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today is the 17th Transgender Day of Remembrance.

I’m sharing a heart today to draw special attention to this incredibly important day for the LGBTQ community of which I’m a part. Though I identify as a lesbian and will not ever know what it means to be Transgender, I feel like as an ally it’s more important to spend these important milestones remembering the lives lost while fighting for the right to simply be who they are.

Today is about remembering those lives taken at the hands of others and those who have taken their own lives out of desperation and the profoundly sad belief that they don’t matter. What’s extremely important to remember today is that those of us who do not identify as Transgender have an important role in eradicating hate. We have the power to stand up with a minority group and say- that’s not okay.

It’s not okay that there are Trans Women of Color being murdered in the double digits. It’s not okay that there are single digit numbers and that we have these kinds of comparisons to make, is especially not okay.

It’s not okay that there are laws being passed that brand people as filth who shouldn’t have the right to simply use the washroom to pee, as their gender dictates and they feel most comfortable.

It’s not okay that in some countries there are no hate crime protections for Trans people.

It’s not okay that even in this day and age and even in “safe spaces” like Toronto, there are still hate crimes that violently strip Trans people of their basic agencies and create an atmosphere where they have to defend their normalcy.

That’s what it means to be an ally today, in my opinion, though that is by no means an exhaustive list of what we need to change. It scratches the surface and yet those few things have the potential to change hundreds of thousands of lives in an instant, for the better, if we changed them. Think about that for a moment…if hundreds of thousands of lives could instantly benefit by changing a few laws, the question becomes, why aren’t we? Why aren’t we reaching into the depths of our common humanity because we may not know what it means to be Transgender but we all certainly know of a time when we couldn’t be ourselves.

This heart is for the community to know that they do matter and that this lesbian is committed to standing up and speaking out for the Trans community. I will not ever know what it means to transition or struggle to accept my gender identity, though I can always commit to listen to experiences and speak out where others take your right to be here away. Those are promises I can keep and I leave you with this heart today as a reminder that this is the case.

Cheryl Costello The Finding Hearts Project

I found these in a bathroom a while ago and had yet to share them here.

The reason why I’m choosing these is in the hopes that starting by giving Trans people their right to use whatever bathroom they wish, we will soon see a world that recognizes their right and freedom to be exactly who they are, free from oppression, violence and the misunderstandings that demand they be anyone else.

Cheryl Costello

(With special thanks to Hey Writer Grrl- Christine Newman, for her input on this blog post)

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