I recently saw on my newsfeed that there are ten Fridays until Christmas. For most of the population, that means dealing with the early onslaught of stores putting up decorations, making lists and checking them twice, and gift shopping for loved ones. It means holiday feasts and celebrations with friends and family.
For my community, the transgender population, it means that by the time Christmas has finally arrived, there will be far fewer of us than there are today. We are being murdered at an alarming and unprecedented rate, butchered for nothing more than being our authentic selves. Many of us will face violence every single day from those who make comments like these I found on Facebook:
- “Do us a favor and just kill yourself.”
- “Just shoot those motherfuckers dead.”
- “It is an abomination that should have been killed at birth.”
At least twenty of us have already been murdered so far this year in the United States. Eighteen victims were women of color. One in twelve of us will be murdered in our lifetimes. That number climbs to one in eight for women of color. Every 29 hours on our planet, one of us is slain. In the United States, at least five of us will not make it to Christmas. Worldwide, at least sixty two of us will not live to see Christmas morning. Sixty two of us will be brutally murdered. Sixty two of us will never open another gift from our lovers or our parents or our friends. Sixty two of us will never see the promise of a new year.
Some who read this article might complain about the “transgender agenda” and about how tired you are of our attempt to make our existence known and to participate in society. To this I say: Fix it. Stop killing us. Stop forcing us to defend our very existence. Accept the reality that we do exist and that we have existed for many millennia. We aren’t going away. You are the only ones with the power to stop the need for our marches and our speeches and our initiatives. You are the ones who can make a difference and save our lives.
As an employed, white, comparatively affluent transwoman who lives in San Francisco, I am largely immune to the epidemic plaguing my sisters of color. I am not blind to it though, and if you take nothing else away from this article, know this: I will never shut up and never stop fighting and defending my sisters, my community, myself, or our right to exist as our authentic selves.
Think about that as you do your holiday shopping and sit down for your holiday meals with your friends and your families. You have ten Fridays; but thanks to the all too prevalent bigotry and hatred that many in the transgender community face, many of us do not. Trans lives matter.