I guess one of the things that gets me down the most about the whole trans thing is that it really does feel like a death cult to me sometimes. Death portrayed as noble, beautiful, innocent and darkly poetic. For some, you can can first set your sites on living your life by almost unobtainable goals and when you come up short and have no real safety net you always have this beautiful escape route in which your death can be ritualaized in the ways that the trans community and their allies have been getting so good at doing lately (due to all the opportunities for practice.) I almost think that in the trans community, a well-memorilialized death is almost viewed by some as a “consolation prize” one can expect to get out of this if nothing else in transition works out right. This just seems to be getting out of hand and it continues to escalate.
The San Diego LGBT Pride Parade is a BIG event in this town every summer and has been for years. San Diego is not the most progressive city in the world, but this has always been a great event and for the most part a great celebration of life, hope and a time to come together to make things better. This year, THE ENTIRE TRANS COMMUNITY has been named the grand marshall for this years parade. That is right … THE ENTIRE TRANS COMMUNITY. (I guess that kind of even includes me.) This is a positive sign of coming of age and once again another chance to show social responsibility. Yes, things are still very messed up in the world, but we are all adults here and we can step up to the challenge to create better possibilities in the world for those who struggle with all issues of oppression. We can do this in a positive, life affirming way and what better place to do it than at a celebration like SD Pride.
That is why I am really sad to hear that some local activists are going to use this opportunity to turn the parade route into a “die-in” and shut down the parade at various points to stage this event (the parade will be suspended at various points along the route while people will pretend to be dead bodies while others will encircle them with police tape while still others read out the names of trans people who have been murdered and who have suicided.)
This is a thing kids come out to. This is just a family day.
I find all of these deaths tragic. Each of these deaths is one too many. I spend some of my free hours doing what I can to raise awareness in the fight against suicide and violence, for all members of my community (but my heart right now especially is going out to my trans brothers and sisters.) But there is a time and place for everything and this is not the right time nor place for these staged events. I am not the only member of the trans community who feels this way. There are others who are just as upset by this as I am. I think it is a very selfish act and I am going to skip the parade this year. It hits too close to home for me, literally. Rita Powers died just a couple blocks away. This is triggering for me in the most horrible way possible.
I still hope that these Trans activists decide to do the right thing and decide to hang out at the grown up table just for this one day. I really do think that this constant death fixation is part of the problem here. At the end of the day I want what they want … people staying alive. I hope they can maybe think about how what they are doing actually MIGHT be adding to the problem and not the solution.
Here is a link to the SD Pride statement about the Die-In
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