Transgender Day of Remembrance has occurred annually on November 20, since 1999. It is a day to memorialize those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia and to bring attention to the continued violence endured by the transgender community.
Now more than ever, we need to embrace diversity. As I write this in mid November of 2016, at least 27 known transgender people in the United States alone have been murdered due to their transgender status. One is too many! How many more have been bullied, harassed, discriminated against, or in any way made to feel bad or less than? Imagine what it must be like to be part of a community that fears being harmed simply for who one is.
There are far more gender non-conforming people than most people think. It was not long ago that it was generally believed that prevalence of gender dysphoria was 1 in 10,000 or so. Recently there was a large study of high school students in Minnesota reporting that 2.5% answered yes to a question about whether they identify as “transgender, genderqueer, genderfluid, or unsure about your gender identity.” When speaking about intersex condition, author and gender expert, Arlene Istar Lev recently asked the audience at a gender care training she conducted at The University of Denver in conjunction with the Gender Identity Center of Colorado; “Do you know anyone that is Jewish?” Of course, every hand went up. The answer is about 2.2% of Americans are Jewish. So if you know or love someone who Jewish, you just may know or love there someone who is gender non-conforming, even if they haven’t felt emotionally safe enough to share that part of themselves with you.
My vote is for us is to just everyone. Not regardless of gender identity, but because of the beauty of diversity. Imagine how boring the tapestry of our great nation would be if we only had one color in the pallette.