Wednesday, June 24, 2020

#PrideMonth Challenge - 1 mile everyday in memory of a murdered #transgender person

The month of June is usually "Pride" month; a month when the LGBTQIA community celebrates their history as a community and hosts events and parades to celebrate all things LGBTQIA.

This month I challenged myself to walk a minimum of 1 mile each day in memory of a murdered transgender person.  I have been using the work of the Human Rights Campaign.  They track the murders can publish a list as well as release a yearly report on the status of the transgender community.

While I knew people who are trans have a harder time in the general population than perhaps the rest of the LGBTQIA community, the numbers are staggering.  In 2019, there were 26 known murders of transgender people.  Of those 91% were Black women.  81% were under the age of 30.  Maybe less surprising, 65% were in the South.  

So what?  Why focus on transgender people?  Well simply, it matters.  Trans lives matter.  I have taught and worked with several people who transitioned or identify outside of cis-gendered norms.  Of those students, there isn't a single one that I believe is an extra or unworthy human life and therefore would be okay to murder.  If the Black Lives Matter has taught me anything, it is that silence equals implied consent.  I will not stay silent.  Transgender Lives Matter!

On June 21, I did my walk in memory of Baily Reeves, who was only 17 when she was murdered for being transgendered.  Her mother reached out to me the next day and thanked me for walking in her memory.  Honestly, I cried when I saw the message.  She took time out of her day to thank me.  Like my 5k walk is really as close to nothing as I can do and yet the small gesture seemingly meant a lot to her.  Her little girl was not completely forgotten.  

I have done 24 walks equaling 80 miles or so.  I have listed 25 names (I did 2 on one post) and there are still names to go.  I'm focused on all Black trans people murdered in 2020 and 2019.  The list is too long.  Our silence is way too loud.  

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