Christin Milloy:

Rise up and seize equality

Transgender Day of Remembrance, a Brief Statement

Yesterday, November 20th, was the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR). This is the day that the LGBT community and allies gather together to remember all of the trans people who have been lost in the world this year due to acts of violent transphobia, or due to suicide (which is rampant problem in the transgender community).

In 2011, Newfoundland transsexual blogger Jennifer McCreath (whose airport troubles I once chronicled) asked me to to provide a brief statement to be read at a TDoR ceremony she was heading up in St. Johns.

At the time, my 2011 candidacy in the Ontario general election was news in the trans community, and she suggested that a brief statement from me might empower trans people and  inspire them with hope. I was deeply touched, and I humbly struggled to find words appropriate for an event as emotionally powerful as TDoR…

In the end, I decided that in this time which we set aside for acknowledging past wrongs, it may also be appropriate to look toward the future, and to help set a course for ourselves which will one day lead us out of tragedy and into enlightenment.

Here is the TDoR statement I wrote last year. I’m publishing it in the hopes of reaching out to trans people. None of us need to live our lives in isolation. Now is the era of support, advancement, development for our people. If we keep up the work, stick together and don’t give up, we will change the world. The force of history is on our side.

Christin Milloy, Statement for Trans Day of Remembrance 2011

I ran as a candidate in the Ontario provincial election [in 2011] not because I am trans, but because I wanted to stand up for something in which I strongly believe, and I refused to let my status stop me from doing it. I ran in spite of being trans; I ran regardless of being trans.

Trans Day of Remembrance is our day to pause and mourn those who have been lost this year, and to raise awareness of the violence and other issues faced by people in our community.

As important as it is for us to join together with each other and our allies on this day and remember, it is equally important for us on every day of the year to never accept limits imposed on us by others. It’s important for us to go out into the world every day and do all of the things that we would do anyway— to never give up, and never be forced to compromise our dignities because of our status.

Increased visibility in mainstream society brings better understanding, greater acceptance, and will hopefully one day lead to the end of transphobic violence.

I want to thank Jennifer once again for giving me the priceless opportunity to share my thoughts and feelings with the trans community in Newfoundland on these important occasions.

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Christin Milloy