2013 Transgender Day of Remembrance

Imagine the headline if I were to be murdered for being transgender, “Local Maryville Man Found Dead in Home”. The story would go on to include details of the story, “Local Maryville resident, Justin “Carla” Lewis was found dead in his home at approximately 11:00 am. Mr. Lewis was found beaten with his throat cut, hanging from a ceiling fan with his hands and feet bound. A cause of death has not yet been determined, but police are considering the death a possible suicide.”

I would be quickly forgotten by all except close friends and family and become just another statistic in the body count for next year’s Transgender Day of Remembrance. This may sound like pure fiction, but in reality, most transgender murder victims are mis-gendered. Their correct names are not used and often police simply dismiss the murder.

Sadly, 238 transgender people or people perceived as such have been murdered in the past 12 months.

People like Evon Young, a transman and rapper, was taken by several men to a basement,where he was choked with a chain and had a plastic bag taped over his head. He was the beaten with tools until he died.

You may not have heard of Diamond Williams. Her murderer confessed that he stabbed her repeatedly then dismembered her body with an axe after realizing she was a transwoman.

There is more at stake here than just a loss of life. Who nows what Young or Williams would have eventually contributed to society during their lifetime. We will never know. Consider that.

Imagine a world without satellite radio, created by transwoman Martine Rothblatt had she been shot in the head and immolated.

Imagine a world without online gaming, envisioned by Arkansas native and transwoman Danielle Berry, had someone slashed her throat and mutilated her genitals.

Imagine a world without the movies “The Matrix”, “Cloud Atlas” or “Speed Racer”, created by transwoman Lana Wachowski, had she been stoned to death and her body dragged through the streets.

Imagine a world where Osama Bin Laden still lived had Seal Team Six member and transwoman Kristin Beck been beaten to death with a fire extinguisher, her body wrapped in a shower curtain, and left in the desert.

Imagine a world with no computers, iPhones, or internet. These were all possible because of the advances in VSLI, a method to manufacture microchips, by transwoman Lynn Conway. These would not exist had she been beheaded. These methods of death may sound fantastic, but they are far too common in the death of transpeople.

As transpeople, our numbers are small. Our influence is not great. We cannot change the opinion of the world on our own. We need you. Please be a voice for us in your own community, workplace, social circles and government. Among us are people that will change the world or inspire others to do so. If we are not allowed to live, everyone’s world will suffer.