Transgender Day Of Remembrance


I saw this taking a late night walk last week, and meant to share it much sooner than now. Better almost-late than never, I suppose.

If you’re having trouble reading that poster, it’s announcing that November 20 is Transgender Day of Remembrance. Here in Fresno there’s a candlelight vigil march at 4:30 pm in Fresno Courthouse Park, that’s 1100 Van Ness Ave, and a reception celebration at 6:00 at the Downtown Community Arts Collective, 764 P. Street.

It’s estimated that one in twelve trans-women is murdered. If you only count people of color, that number rises to one in eight. Statistically it’s very likely that at least one of the trans women I’ve met will die by violence. Or already has.

I’m really not okay with that.

I don’t think anyone should be okay with that. 

Violence is the lowest form of conflict, the least human, and it should always be the very last resort of desperation for any person who wants to consider themselves ethical or civilized. There’s no such thing as “righteous” or “just” violence, once violence breaks out concepts like right & wrong are off the table and survival is what matters. It doesn’t matter who was right before, or who started it, all that matters at that point is who is stronger, who is faster, who is armed, who escapes, who is injured, who survives, who kills, who dies. All those wonderful concepts of justice and reason and morality fade away and the ancient ape rises again, and humanity is diminished, just a little, every time we step back into the old jungle.

Violence may sometimes be necessary, but it is never right.

I’m not asking anyone to change their lives here. I’m not asking you to accept people into your homes or embrace them or even to like them. I’m just asking you to not to assault, batter or murder people. No matter how weird they are. No matter how angry you are.

I really don’t understand why this seems to be so difficult for so many people.

If you live in the Fresno area and aren’t doing anything tomorrow night, consider coming downtown to remember those who’ve been killed because the idea of them made someone angry enough to be violent. It won’t bring any of them back. It probably won’t even significantly change the odds for anyone in the near future. But it says that you are not okay with this. That you aren’t going to be counted with those who are presumed to approve by their silence.

It’s a tiny gesture, but those tiny gestures add up. Little by little, we make things better.

About Leo Tarvi

Mostly fictional.

Posted on November 19, 2012, in Daily Post and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. leo, i cannot tell you how much it means to me that you made this post and are supporting the march! i myself have such a daughter and i worry about her safety more than i like to admit. thank you for your compassion and humanity and courage.

    would you be offended if i see shades of harlan ellison and whiffs of tom robbins in your writing? like them you are the conscience of your generation and culture and world… help us be better people — KEEP WRITING!

    • Nalla I’ve been trying to think of a way to respond to this for two days now, and I just don’t think I have the words.

      I doubt I can live up to “conscience of your generation”, but I will keep writing. And I will never stop talking about a better world that we could make, that we should make.

      Embarrassingly, I never even made it to the march. Too much to do, not enough time.

      Thank you.

  2. Very well written and thoughtful post, Leo. Like the above comment, keep writing. 🙂

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