It is Transgender Day of Remembrance. Here are some thoughts: from Rev. Sean Dennison
Today is a sacred day,
a day to remember and mourn,
a day to count the cost of so much hatred.
But don’t think that saying the names
of my 368 siblings–
(a number that rises so fast that by the time
we are done with our rituals, it may be more,
and more again)
almost all of them my sisters,
black and brown sisters–
don’t think saying their names
It will never be enough.
Each year I am asked to absorb
the losses of hundreds
of my people, my family.
To use the word “tragedy,”
instead of genocide.
To express grief
instead of rage.
I am tired.
For decades now, I have mourned.
For decades now, I have politely
listened to lists of names, mispronounced
and loved too late, honored only
I want to know.
Can you love me while I live?
Can you love my siblings?
My black and brown sisters?
Can you love them no matter
the choices they made to survive?
Can you love them politically?
Can you love them personally,
allowing them to come into your church?
I am tired.
Because these hundreds of names
are not even all.
These are only the ones who died
at the hands of someone else’s hatred.
That number does not count the ones
I have lost to self-hatred, to despair,
to hunger and cold.
It does not count the ones who are dying inside
because seeing all this,
they don’t dare to live.
So today, when you ask me to perform
my grief and sorrow on your stage,
Do not be surprised if it comes with
rage. If it comes with weeping so fierce
that I cannot speak, cannot breathe.
If it comes with wailing so loud
that (if only, if only) it could wake the dead.
And tomorrow, when the world moves on,
and I am left alone again,
with all of this,
all my beloveds dead
all my people endangered,
all the pieces of my broken heart
still piercing and bleeding,
still heavy with grief,
Will you still remember?
And more importantly,
What will you do?
This evening there is a vigil for Transgender Day of Remembrance this evening in Morgantown at the Morgantown Church of the Brethren-Mennonite at 6pm.