Remember Fear

Draft for TDOR 2017

As we come together on this Transgender Day of Remembrance, taking the time to list those transpeople that we know were lost at the hands of another in the past year,  what do we need to most remember?

The stories of our murdered sisters and brothers remind all transpeople that our safety is not something that we can take for granted.   We live in a world where we can become targets of other people’s internalized fear and rage, where their need to purge what they find challenging to their own beliefs can end up with them targeting us, with them feeling that they are entitled to erase perversion and evil.

The one thing that all queer people share is the experience of the closet.  We learn very early that it is unsafe for us to show the nature in our hearts, that the only good we can do is to deny, suffocate and twist our desires to fit into what family, church and community expects.

Today, we remember that fear which caused us to hide, which still pushes us to stay small and deny our power, and we stand together to resist it.

By gathering in love to celebrate the lives of marginalized transpeople, by showing our solidarity and coming together with allies who also commit to remember the fear that terrorizes gender variant people around the world, we stand up for care, for compassion and for liberation.

Today we say that the stories of trans lives, the voices of those trans people some attempt to silence with fear, are vital to remember each and every day.   We honour the experience of being trans in the world, even where it differs from our personal experience, seeing through the eyes of those who have lived in fear just because their hearts crossed the lines of society’s gendered conventions.

Marginalized, pushed to the edges, they lived in fear of their own safety, striving to create a life even though they were routinely told that just showing their nature put them beyond what many could accept, what many could tolerate, what many believed was right, pure and godly.

They knew that even using a public restroom could put them at risk from some who would brand them sick and perverted, who would dehumanize them, call them deluded monsters, worthy of purging from polite society.

Yet, they lived their own love, claimed their own creation, embodied their own truth.   Some paid the ultimate price for that expression, unable or unwilling to hide themselves enough to satisfy the tormented, mirroring the diversity and transcendence of creation in a way that got them attack and destroyed.

On this day, we remember that only by creating safe space in our own heart to embrace the mirror of continuous common humanity, moving beyond the walls and separations that we believe keep us safe can we create a world where diversity can blossom and thrive.   Our comforting assumptions need to be released to see the humanity around us, rather than defended by erasure, ignorance and projection.

We come together today to move beyond our own fear of the different, our fear of those who make choices that we would never make for ourselves, choices that we can only understand by opening our hearts and seeing the world through their eyes.   We commit to remembering that our discomfort or feeling of challenge is within us and only we can reach to something higher which allows us to transcend, moving from fear to love.

As we see echoes of attack of gender variant people around us, in the media or in conversation, we remember that the seeds of fear are being planted, making the world less safe for those who have the spark of transcendence in their hearts.   We remember that only love can trump fear, only compassion can trump doctrine, only we can trump ignorance and hate.

Today, we remember those who were destroyed by fear and violence, those who are damaged every day by fear and the threat of violence, those who cannot give all their creator has put into their heart because they live in fear.

And today we remember that only we can create fertile ground for them with our love, our willingness to open our own hearts and minds to hear their stories, to move beyond our old assumptions and comforting walls to engage them with love.

We remember the lost and we commit to the living that we will remember the continuous common humanity that threads through all human hearts, remembering to open with love and kindness so we create safe spaces for diversity, expression and transcendence, spaces that can spread from our heart to the wider world.

We promise to remember to release fear and embrace love for every human, even the ones who cross gendered conventions.



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