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Transgender Day of Remembrance 2021

On Nov. 20, Out MOV commemorated the Transgender Day of Remembrance at Muskingum Park in Marietta. It was amazing to see those I haven’t seen in a long time and meet others for the first time. Then, I remembered what brought us there. I remembered the pain and the suffering that my community faces and continues to face. I remembered that we live in a society that is unwelcoming to those who aren’t cisgender, heterosexual, and white and dare to live as unapologetically authentic as possible. I remembered that the “normal” world considers my trans sisters unemployable and forces them into a life of financial insecurity and homelessness. I remembered that my sisters who engage in sex work risk their lives every single day for the sake of being able to earn an income.

And I remember that these circumstances are the reason why at least 47 transgender people have been murdered this year.

While this statistic is very sad, it is no surprise. This world has never been a safe place for transgender people. This is a difficult but necessary lesson I’ve had to learn throughout my nineteen years of life. It isn’t something that many cis people would consider, but I have had to spend my adolescence and adulthood making sure my voice was high enough, and that my facial hair was covered, and that my tuck wasn’t showing.

I have been forced to do this for the sake of my safety; For if I do not look, walk, and talk like a cisgender woman I will be perceived as a threat.

This is the not so pretty part of life as a trans person that many do not like to talk about. Though, like all bad things, ignoring it does not make it go away. Rather, it leaves trans people without a support system and without a chance to be successful. It places us in a position where we become under attack by policymakers and high-profile individuals. It allows us to live in a world where comedians can call themselves “Team TERF” and somehow be praised for it.

It is not a comfortable conversation to have. Nevertheless, it must be had for if it isn’t my experiences of constantly being called slurs and receiving death threats from my peers will continue into the next generation.

Some of you are probably asking how this relates to the deaths we’ve seen this year. To that I ask this question:

How are we supposed to live when the world tells us we should be waiting to die?

Yes, the main purpose of the Trans Day of Remembrance is to honor the dead, but we wouldn’t be here if the world started honoring the living. Open your heart to give compassion and understanding to those who are not like you. I am living proof that trans people are here in your community. We always have been. Trans people are beautiful and worthy of fulfilling lives. The sooner we see this, the better our world will become.

Danielle Thrasher

Treasurer, Out MOV

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