Trans Day of Remembrance gives space for the grief, anger and pain that comes with being trans in a world that attempts to stifle our joy and flourishing. This year, two of the youngest names on the list of transgender people who have died due to transphobia leading to violence or suicide will be Brianna Ghey and Corei Hall; two trans children from the UK whose lives have been cut short by transphobia. Whilst discussing plans for the SCM TDOR vigil, a member of the Trans Theology Group reminded us of the phrase ‘remember the dead, fight like hell for the living’.
Christianity has death at its center. All Souls Day being a space for remembering those who have died, Ash Wednesday reminding us that from dust we came and to dust we shall return, Christ defeating death through dying, the symbol of the cross, everlasting life. Christians think about death a lot. We contemplate our mortality and reflect on our relationship with dying and the after-dying bit quite often. Remembering the dead is core to Christian practices. TDOR lets us say the names of our siblings who have died out loud: we can feel all of the grief and anger that comes with this day. You can believe in everlasting life and be mad that trans people are being killed. Spend the time to feel the grief today: remember the dead.
Despair cannot be where we leave it. We work and pray for a time where fighting for our rights is no longer needed, but right now we do have to. Survival is resistance. Living in spite of hatred is resistance. Not being quiet is resistance. Justice is our calling. Fight for your healthcare, fight for your protections, fight for your right to live as yourself and to become more of who God created you to be. Allies, we call on you: step up. Take on some of our pain, our work, our fight. Be like Jesus: overturn tables, touch the ‘unclean’, extend grace to all. Fight like hell for the living.
To my trans siblings: we grieve side-by-side and we fight as one. You will never do this alone. We stand next to one another to achieve a world where we can live our lives in joy, but today we also sit with one another as we pray for peace, scream our anger, light candles for those whose light has been extinguished, allow the tears to fall and feel the pain. Tomorrow we can continue our efforts, today we can pause and simply grieve.
Written by Mo.