Sunday, November 18, 2012

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2012

Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance. Across the world there are ceremonies to remember the loss of trans* lives across the globe, recitations of their names so we don't forget who they were and how they died. 

Among our ranks in steampunk, we have several transgender individuals who find the fluidity of barriers in our little subculture very attractive, not to mention useful. Gender-bending is not new for us; it's a form of play for many of us. 

But let's not forget that for some of us, this isn't play, but the most straightforward expression of who are are. 

That for some of us, being honest means exposure to prejudice, discrimination and violence. And that people die for this honesty. 

On this day that our trans members of the steampunk community (if indeed we have a singular community) remember their dead, it behooves those of us who are cis to be more careful for and of our trans living, t make sure our spaces are safe, and if we are so inclined to be respectful of each other, then we mustn't only do it in steampunk spaces, but in all spaces beyond as well. 

I've always believed in the transformative power of steampunks to change the present by learning from the past, mostly in racial terms but I know it is also applicable other ways. It is especially so as many of the dead remembered today are Women of Colour. 

Today for Transgender Day of Remembrance, the names of the dead, who are gone through and because of violence and pain, will roll across tongues and into sound, the tolling bells of our failure to protect them and change the world into something less violent for them. We must do everything we can to make sure the ones who are our living do not join these lists. 

Otherwise we must admit that our play means nothing, and our claim to community is empty and worthless since we cannot recognize each other's humanity, nor our responsibilities to protect each other from harm.