Twin Cities celebrates Transgender Day of Remembrance

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Stoned to death. Stabbed 33 times. Pushed out of a moving car then run over. When hate and fear rage out of control, people destroy by any means necessary. Eighty-one transgender people were murdered in the past year throughout the world.

This is a Community Voices submission and is moderated but not edited. The opinions expressed by Community Voices contributors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the TC Daily Planet.

When love and courage rage powerful, what means we will use to transcend this violence and transform our world?

For 16 years, transgender people, gender queer folks and allies gather on November 20 for the Transgender Day of Remembrance. Read a long list of names, and a longer list of remembrance services, at tdor.info.

The Twin Cities have been commemorating our murdered loved ones – known and unknown – for 15 years at Living Table United Church of Christ (formerly Spirit of the Lakes and Minnehaha UCC). Barbara Satin, 80-year-old matron of the movement, is our guide.

Tonight we are builders. Tonight we remember. With 81 names we build a home to witness lives lived and lost. We demand attention and justice with this home we build, name by name.

With 81 names we build a home for our grief, our outrage and our fear. In the home we build, name by name, we experience our human power to claim healing, to claim a future together.

The weight of 81 names breaks our backs, and then we hear that one was 8 years old, and it hurts even more. So many people murdered whose names are unknown.

Rarely are so many transgender and gender queer people in one place, and this joy breaks through the pain. Tonight passion draws people into public, as grief overwhelms fear. We start sharing resources – the Exchange and Café Southside on Chicago Ave, I Am Jazz, a kids book celebrating trans identities, TransAction Group which meets at Living Table UCC, Couples In Transition meetings for committed couples engaging gender transition.

May this night and this place raise a ruckus of justice and cast a wide net of love and healing, for us in this room and for all people beyond these walls.

Full disclosure: Anna Lisa Gross is the interim pastor of Living Table UCC which hosted the TDoR.