Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) – the time when trans people remember our murdered brothers and sisters, and slain siblings of every gender expression. It’s a sombre occasion and, yesterday, I lit a candle at a ceremony in Essex, organised by the fantastic Dan Bunker at Outhouse East. On the train back to London, I had a little cry.
For the past few days, I’ve been meaning to upload some of the fantastic pics my friend and colleague Rachel Saunders took of me at the weekend. Oh no, I thought, waking up today, I can’t possibly blog about something like that on TDoR. Can I?
Though you probably won’t see much written about TDoR in the mainstream press, there are many great blogs detailing why this day matters. I suggest you read them, starting with Jane Fae’s document of the tsunami of violence and viciousness. This information must be shared. But I have something else to tell you.
Don’t you EVER feel ashamed of loving your life. You cannot change the fact that someone laughed at you as you walked down the street today… you can’t undo the harsh words of a cruel family member and you can’t be unborn and made afresh in the body you’ve craved since childhood. You can do something nice for yourself today, though. When I spoke about this in a recent video blog, I realised that this simple piece of advice is probably the most powerful tool I’ve found to combat fear and depression.
During the TDoR event at Outhouse East, guests saw a new photographic exhibition that celebrates trans people. It’s called Living My Life, and we must never forget how important our lives are – and not just those that are tragically taken.
Yesterday I lit a candle; today I will raise a glass. I’m meeting a good friend at a party and I’m going because of TDoR, not in spite of it. This, trans people, is my message: love your life. We owe it to those of us who can’t.