In this year filled with heartache and grief, we acknowledge and honor the lives of 34 trans people who have been murdered. This represents a significant increase from last year and the majority of these deaths were of Black and Latinx women. These tragic facts remind us of the ways in which carrying multiple marginalized identities puts peoples’ lives at further risk.
These risks are compounded by profound disparities in access to healthcare, job protections
and basic economic supports like living wages and affordable housing. For trans people, trans people of color and especially trans women of color, the dangers presented by life in a pandemic are tremendous.
We know that what we are seeing in these disparities and instances of transantagonistic violence is white supremacy, patriarchy and transphobia operating in our society. Violence and compound oppressions are taking the lives of beautiful loved ones from their families and their communities. I pray that these senseless acts of violence end. And I know that the end will only come if we all continue to work for justice and equity by dismantling these interlocking systems of oppression.
The organizing work of trans and nonbinary leaders and trans leaders of color this year has been inspiring. The power and resilience of these communities in the face of near-constant attacks is humbling. Their organizing has been essential to pushing back against the fascism and dehumanization that’s been growing steadily in this country.
My prayer on this Transgender Day of Remembrance is for the senseless acts of transantagonistic violence to end. And that we may all take on the work to disrupt the systems and cultures that perpetuate this violence.
This is why we as Unitarian Universalists must remain committed to doing the work to dismantle a culture of white supremacy, patriarchy and transphobia in ourselves, in our communities and in our faith at large.
Today, I also offer a prayer of deep gratitude for the trans and nonbinary leaders of our faith leading from the liberating, life-giving truth at the heart of our theology. Trans and nonbinary leaders bring so much to our faith and they do so often at a tremendous cost to their own spirits as they face transphobia, dismissal and disrespect within our community.
It is this truth that calls all of us who are cisgender and who are white to live more fully into the inclusive and liberatory spirit of our theology, and nurture communities and a society where all transgender people and everyone of nonbinary identity experiences solidarity, solace and safety. May we each take up this call in our hearts and in our communities so that we can build a future where all people can thrive