Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Transgender Day of Remembrance, Part II


I got there early, but not as early as I hoped.  The church clergy requested a donation of a canned good or clothing for a trans-support shelter in DC.  I brought in several items of clothing that I held back from the latest swap (sorry Kim, but I have *more* ~ I promise).

As I walked into the sanctuary, a pretty girl in the back row said "Meg?" and I met Cindy.  She introduced Joann and we moved up a few rows and sat and got to know each other.  Unfortunately, I didn't get to say more than "hello" to Joann.  I had a nice talk with Cindy and made sure she knew how great I thought it was that she runs this group and encourages other girls to get out.  It felt weird saying that, considering we were in an event remembering girls (and boys) who died just for doing what we were doing.  I will admit that girls like Cindy and Stana and a few others are personal heroines.

At the start of the service Rachel came bouncing in.  Some of us are out.  Rachel is OUT.  I first met
her before she was Rachel (she was Vanessa then) and before she understood herself (she's transitioning now).  Where I am full of doubts about my situation, Rachel is at peace.  Everyone who needs to know about Rachel, knows, and they are dealing with it.  Her orchestra mates are fine, her co-workers and work management are fine, her wife is fine....  I think until one reaches their own personal equivalent of Rachel's level one cannot answer the simple question, "how important is this to me?"

The service was very nice.  I was going to add "but a wee bit disorganised" but until I can do better, I'll keep my mouth shut.  Fingers still.  Whatever.

I enjoyed the readings, and I enjoyed the speakers even more than the readings.

The crowd participated via singing, holding hands, sitting sadly when they lit a candle for each person killed in the past year.

At the end, I was looking over the people who came up to light the candles and the congregants.  I started to make a mental list of how many men were there, how many women, and I didn't.  I realised I'm in a room full of people strewn across the gender spectrum and if we introduced ourselves just by gender experiences we'd probably each occupy a unique spot:

He used to be she and just got married to a woman. 
She is gender-satisfied and gay. 
He is trans but scared and would faint if someone handed him a bra. 
She is getting hormones because facial/body hair is important to her self image. 
He told his wife about his secret hobby because hearing about the TDoR made it important to do so. 
She has a son who's trans, out in California. 
He is deep in the closet, hiding his girl wardrobe, and made up an excuse to come tonight. 
She believes in equal rights, deep in her soul, and came to show support and learn.

I don't know anybody's story.  But I know deep down that every person in that congregation had a different one.  We're all people with a common interest: we're here because other people died for the crime of being themselves.


  1. Meg
    This was a beautiful post. I really like how it ended. We are all different and there is no single rule that applies to all. The beauty is to be able to appreciate people for all of who they are.
    Thank you for a great blog.

  2. Meg-

    Does Cindy have a web page or blog?


  3. From your mouth to God's ear Meg. No one should have to die for being themselves.
    Wonderful post.


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