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A Day of Rememberance

Today is Transgender Day of Rememberance. November 20, 2009 is the eleventh international day of remembering transgender individuals world-wide who have been murdered because of their way of being in the world. It was founded to commemorate San Franciscan, Rita Hester, whose murder in 1998 launched a web project “Remembering Our Dead.” This oberservance grows from town to town each year.

Since Novemember 2008 there have been over 101 murders of transgender people world-wide. This is more than double the numbers from the year before. There is such hatred and violence and such great misunderstanding of individuals who are transgender. There is already great discrimination against transgender people. It is harder to get work and housing and families reject their children who are transgender in even greater number than those who are gay and lesbian.

Sometimes it is confusing to understand for many people how one might have the physical attributes of one gender but feel as if in their being, their essence they are another. But according to the American Psychological Association the term transgender “is an umbrella term used to describe people whose gender identity (their sense of themselves as male or female) or gender expression is differs from that usually associated with their birth sex. ( )

A transgender person may or may not eventually completely physically transition to their desired gender while many do. Many transgender people either female to male or male to female live quietly without surgery which is expensive and painful. The courage that it takes to live fully in the world as a transgender person is inspiring. My many transgender friends throughout the years have taught me so much about love and about learning to be and live as oneself. I admire their tenacity and enduring often, ridicule for justing wanting to live as themselves.

I hope on this day of Rememberance that the “T” in LGBT is not just brushed over as is done so often but that today will help us remember and include transgender folks in our community and in our lives and that their fight for dignity and equality is part of the human struggle for dignity and equality.