Monica Canfield Lenfest - "What Does Transgender Day of Remembrance Mean to You?"

The Transgender Day of Remembrance was observed Thursday, Nov 20. To commemorate the day, GLAAD blogged about issues relevant to the Day of Remembrance throughout that week.

We asked transgender people and allies to respond to the question “What does the Transgender Day of Remembrance mean to you?”  The responses are still coming in and we are posting them as they do.  This response is from Monica Canfield-Lenfest.

Monica Canfield-Lenfest is the author of the Kids of Trans Resource Guide, the groundbreaking work written by and for people with transgender parents. The guide was the result of an eight-month fellowship at COLAGE - a national movement of children, youth and adults with LGBTQ parents. She has presented workshops about children of transgender parents at various transgender conferences including Southern Comfort, IFGE, Philly Trans-Health, and WPATH.

Monica coordinates the COLAGE Bay Area Chapter, organizing local events for youth and adults with LGBTQ parents. She is also working on the creation of the No Dumb Questions online community, a place for transgender people and their allies to share stories and ask questions about gender identity and expression. Monica blogs at A Seat on the SOFFA, where she continues to write about transgender families as the adult daughter of a transgender parent and an advocate for the children of LGBTQ parents.

 


During the Transgender Day of Remembrance service, we are reminded - these people are children, siblings, parents, friends, and lovers. As we read the names, I think of the mother mourning her transgender child's death, the brother who will never understand how someone could take his sibling's life. There is a small child whose parent committed suicide, an adult whose parent died because the doctors refused treatment. I don't know their names, but anti-transgender violence has taken their family members.

 

 

In this moment, I find sadness. In this moment, I find rage.

Then, my thoughts turn to the transgender people in my life. I picture my father and her partner, the peaceful life they have pieced together in the small town surrounded by mountains. Grateful that they have a place to live, that she has a job. They are less vulnerable than many of those on the TDoR list, but still the fear creeps in. I could be that family member, holding a picture at the vigil. This year, I am not. I say a little prayer that my loved ones - family and friends - live free from violence.

In this moment, I find sadness. In this moment, I find rage.

While marching through San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood, I meet a woman whose name could have been on the memorial list. She tells me her story of surviving stab wounds and being left at Ocean Beach, of the children who found her there, of her recovery just two years ago. And she is marching next to me, holding a candle just like mine.

In this moment, I find perseverance. In this moment, I find hope.

May this compassionate rage fuel our collective efforts to recreate a world where people live free from violence and discrimination.

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