In a Better World, How Would We Spend Trans Day of Remembrance?
“In a better world, Transgender Day of Remembrance would not be necessary,” wrote Imara Jones for a 2019 Truthout article about the day that commemorates all of the trans folks lost to violence that year, the vast majority of which are Black and Latina trans women.
This year, I’m reflecting on Imara’s words. It is important to me that we constantly imagine, dream, and talk about that better world. If we only talk about the problems we face in our current world, how will we ever create the new one? It’s incredible to see how the Black Lives Matter movement has shifted what is possible by putting the idea of defunding the police into the discourse. That work allowed for 44% of Minneapolis voters to vote to replace the police department entirely. While the effort didn’t win, they’ve made a world without police more of a political possibility. This is the power of narrative shift, of dreaming audaciously and believing the impossible is possible. This is the power of speaking the world we want, even when it feels far away.
Today, a world without violence against trans people feels far away. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t dream about it. So in that better world that Imara describes, how would we spend Trans Day of Remembrance? What would we do if we didn’t have to fight, didn’t have to mourn, didn’t have to work for the wellbeing of the most vulnerable in our communities? For me that world is about centering joy, and pleasure, and the ease of feeling safe and cared for.
When we interviewed our current cohort about their work, a few mentioned the things they would do if movement work wasn’t necessary.
M Adams shared: “I think about how, in a different world without these issues, I could have really just have been a physicist. I could have really just been a trumpet player, and how I deserve that.”
Jennicet Gutiérrez also has a creative dream: “I dreamed and still dream of being a dancer, being a choreographer, making art, but the injustices that I lived when I identified myself as a trans woman, since I was three years old, prevented this.”
Aneiry Simonnaeh Zapata dreams of a world where she can finally rest: “I say there will come a day when we can all live with freedom and we won’t need this at all. I may say, ‘Now I can rest,’ but as long as there is injustice, I cannot rest in the face of injustice.”
In a better world, what beautiful art would Jennicet create? In a better world, what incredible music would M produce or physics problems would they solve? In a better world, how rested would Aneiry be? In a better world, how would we celebrate joy alongside the trans folks we lost this year?
Gia Loving shares her optimism: “I believe in being free, I believe in what I’m doing, I believe in the world we’re creating.”
In a better world, how would you spend Trans Day of Remembrance?
We gain inspiration from the organizations in our broader network. Please consider following and supporting them in honor of TDOR this year:
- Acorn Center for Restoration and Freedom
- Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project
- Brown Boi Project
- El/La Para TransLatinas
- Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement
- Love Me Unlimited 4 Life
- Marsha P. Johnson Institute
- Organización Latina de Trans en Texas
- Transgender Law Center
- Trans United
- Triumphant 2gether