November 20th is Transgender Day of Remembrance. This is the day that we will mourn the transgender lives lost over the last year. This year, we have again broken records with the number killed in this country. And that is only those killed by others. These numbers do not include the lives lost by their own hands due to the abuse, discrimination, and rejection many of us face daily. Make sure that you take a moment to find a way to honor them. There are events going on all over the country. I encourage you to find your local event and pay your respects.
Speaking of coming out, I want to offer a bit of encouragement. My favorite activist in LGBT history is Harvey Milk. He said some awesome things! He was bold. He could be rude. But he was also a politician. And he said, "Coming out is one of the most political things you can do." In the early 70's that was very true of being gay. In this day and age when they are seeking to pass many similar laws, it is just as true to day. Being open about our authentic selves is one of the most political things you can do today. As visioned by the reactions that we get and we can tell who we throw on their head by doing it. Suddenly they struggle with whether to accept or reject a person they love. And it becomes political and social in-congruence. He also said something else that I will paraphrase for our situation..."I ask all of my trans brothers and sisters to fight. For themselves, for their freedom, for their country. We will not win our rights by quietly staying in the closet. We are coming out to fight the lies, the myths, the distortions. We are coming out to tell the truth about ourselves, for I am tired of the conspiracy of silence! We must come out!"
There are reasons that many of us stay in the closet. Its a protective measure. And I totally understand and respect those that cannot. I encourage you to remember why we do transgender day of remembrance. I encourage you to live the life you are meant to live, authentically.
--Blake Dremann, President of SPARTA