Supporting our Trans Siblings, on #TDOR and Every Day

On this November 20th,
Be tender, with those who are mourning.
Be attentive, to those who feel unsafe.
Be encouraging, to those who are revealing their truth.
Be prepared, to be led into the possibilities for tomorrow by those who tomorrow wasn’t built for.

—B. Herbert

Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance (#TDOR)—an annual day of grieving and memory for all the beloved transgender, non-binary, gender non-conforming, genderqueer, and gender expansive people who have been killed over the past 365 days for their gender identity and expression.

This is a heavy day, especially for our transgender siblings. I am a cisgender woman, but many, many of my family and closest circle are trans/gnc/nb, and this day always provides me with a sobering reminder of just how targeted so many of my beloveds are just for expressing their humanity in its fullness.  Every November 20, I take time to make space for the feelings of fear and loss and anger that emerge for me on this day, and I make a point of reaching out to my beloveds to make sure they’re doing okay.  I hope you do the same.

And. I also take time every #TDOR to recommit myself to acting in concrete ways to support my trans kin.  I share a few suggestions here, in hopes that all of us will take action today to make this world one in which all people of all genders can not only survive, but thrive:

  • If you are a trans/nb/gq person and you are struggling, reach out for help.  Call the Trans Lifeline, or connect with a support group near you (the Minnesota Transgender Alliance offers support groups throughout Greater MN, and OutFront Minnesota has an extensive list of supports for trans and queer people here).
  • Attend a #TDOR service or vigil near you.  If you are in the Twin Cities, the annual service here is held tonight, 11/20, at Living Table UCC, at 7pm.  If you are unable to go in person, take a moment with your family or alone tonight to pray for and speak aloud the names of the nearly 400 people killed across the globe this year due to transphobic violence, including the 23 people murdered here in the United States.
  • Make a commitment to solidarity with trans UUs.  TRUUsT is our national UU organization for trans, non-binary, genderqueer and gender-expansive Religious Professionals.  They have issued a call for ALL Unitarian Universalists to make personal and congregational commitments to supporting the trans UU community, and they have generously developed this resource with five critical ways we can act in solidarity with trans UUs today.  In particular, TRUUsT is urging every UU to take a few minutes to fill out this survey with concrete ways we may be able to support our trans siblings in faith. Please read this list, and commit to taking action today.
  • Take the time to listen to the voices, experiences, and celebrations of the trans community–also and especially the ones that highlight resilience and strength.  If we only pay attention to trans issues on #TDOR, we will miss the incredible beauty and power of the trans community every single day of the year.  Spend some time celebrating trans joy–the art, prayers, and reflections highlighted at Transgender Day of Resilience are a wonderful place to start.

May we all work together to create a world in which we never again have to memorialize another trans person lost to violence.  And on our way there, may we hold one another in deep love and tenderness, and fierce protection and solidarity.

With hope and love,


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