I never do much for Transgender Day of Remembrance. It’s always a little overwhelming to me and I tend to handle that by not doing or saying much of anything because I don’t know what to say. I’m not really proud of that, but that’s been my habit. I spend time in my own thoughts but it’s not a day when I step outside of my own head much.

It’s horrific that so many trans people are killed for being who they are that we have to have a special day to take a moment and remember them. And even with that it seems like most people (sure, I live in a special bubble full of amazing queer/trans folks and allies, but I know this isn’t typical) don’t think this is a big deal. They see no reason to stop using trans people as cheap jokes, to join the fight for rights or even give us basic fucking respect. I have no way of knowing how long my personal lucky streak will last, or if my loved ones will stay safe as well.

Sometimes the saddest part to me is how poorly treated victims are in death. Even though there are AP standards for how to discuss trans folks in news articles, many of them (in the rare case that anyone thinks the murder of a trans person is important enough to warrant a mention) will call the victim “Dick Dudename, who liked to dress as a woman” or “Trixie Femmebody, who asked friends to call her ‘Tristan,’” and make irrelevant comments about the victim’s clothing or surgical status, when the perpetrator found out the victim was trans (always a great time to drag out the “trans panic” defense for partner violence!), etc. I almost wish I believed in ghosts so I could imagine hordes of pissed off trans people haunting the writers of these articles from beyond the grave, although I suppose I’d wish them more fun in the afterlife than that.

Maybe some year the list of names won’t get any longer. I don’t know what that world will look like, and right now I don’t know that I’ll live to see it. I don’t want to sound so negative about this, but while I see change happening, it’s coming so slowly that I don’t think it’ll make a difference for all members of the trans community any time soon. Let’s hope I’m wrong. I’d love to come back to this in a few years and eat my words.

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