Remarks from San Diego TDoR

As I mentioned,  the highlight for me of attending the San Diego event marking the TDoR was hearing the remarks made at the opening by Connor Maddocks, who runs The Center’s Trans services.  I have known Connor for years and I have a lot of respect for his opinion. When I appeared on Maritza and Lynna Cummings’ webcast, I consulted with Connor to try to get some feedback on how I could do the show in a way where I could cover a very difficult topic and say what I needed to be say and yet  be respectful of the Trans community. Connor gave me a lot of great advice and I think the show went well—It was great talking to Maritza and Lynna who I think enjoyed the talk too.   I liked what he has to say here and I am hoping that the members of the community who were in attendance Friday night  are up for taking on his challenge.

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Welcome everyone to the International Transgender Day of Remembrance.  Tonight we honor and remember those we have lost due to hatred and violence against our community.  We have lost too many lives,  to many amazing people gone for no reason.  This madness against our community must stop.   I hope you will indulge me as I would like to share some of my thoughts with you.

We each feel the pain of every loss, and we feel that because we are family, that’s what community is all about.  We laugh, love and learn together to make each of us stronger.  Community is something to be treasured and nurtured.  

But if we want to stop the hatred against us, then I think we need to start the process at home.  To me Community is home, you all are my people, my hopes and dreams, my strength against all outside forces that would harm us.   The only way that we can accomplish what we want in greater society is to raise ourselves up, raise each other up. And I wonder how we can do that when we in the community we are tearing each other down?  How can we do this if we are ridiculing, bullying, fighting, name calling each other?  We are all very different people and have different opinions and values.  We can’t build community up if we are tearing each other down.  Going forward I am asking all of you to strive to work together better, to sit down with a person and talk out your differences and come to an understanding of how you can support each other. It’s easy to use social media to spew rumors, lies or even past irrelevant truths about each other in order to hurt someone.  How can we ask the world to respect us, to acknowledge us, to value us when we don’t value or respect each other?  Instead of resolving to speak against each other, let’s resolve to solve our personal issues together.

Now , how do we, as a community battle the hate and discrimination in our own city?

Tonight I ask that we begin a war on the hatred and violence so many experience, and I would like to offer you some ideas about some weapons for this war.

These are my weapons which I gladly share with you:

LOVE –  show love, teach love give love, love others as you love yourself, and if you don’t love yourself, its ok we will love you just the way you are.

Education – always educate, anyone you can, everywhere you can.  It’s hard to hate something or someone when you understand and know them on a personal level

Collaborate – work with anyone who would be an ally, give and take in the community

Be part of the solution – find a way to help, volunteer, get to know all our communities in San Diego

If safe for you show yourself, stand and be proud of who you are

Be each others keepers, who else will do it for us?  Be safe, be smart and help others find safety

And when we need to fight,  let’s do it together and be a force to be reckoned with.

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I want this site to be a “safe space” for all

Some facebook site linked to me yesterday I guess because I got way more traffic than usual … sometimes I can’t tell if they are pro-trans or right wing sites or whatever that link … and it is hard to gauge by comments.  I got a few comments on my site yesterday (it has been a long time since that happened) and it is nice to have some interest around here but I have to say that reading some of them DID make me feel a bit uneasy. It is like the comments, when they get going on my site … become this other entity unto themselves separate from what I am trying t do here.

I really do believe that there is a way that we can talk about these difficult issues without further stigmatizing Trans people.  I have said this before, but I have a lot of Trans friends.  I think it is unfair to say that all Trans people are delusional. More than that, I believe it is untrue.

In every post that I have written, even though I am critical of a lot of things within the Trans movement, I always strive to be respectful towards Trans people.  It was that way since day one.  I think I have done a pretty good job. Have I always gotten it right?  No.  But I am open to learning.

I want this to be a safe space for all. I don’t want to use triggering language. I don’t want to demean people or their lifestyles where they are not doing harm to others. I do want to continue to critical of things that I think are wrong, but looking more at broken systems or challenging paradigms that may not be as helpful as was once thought.  I am going to be doing this mindfully and in a way that respects all.  If someone comes here I don’t want them to be unnecessarily made more anxious or fearful than when they came to this site.  That is the opposite of what this site is about.   But I do want people to think.

I am holding back on publishing some of the comments today and I will start being more careful about what I let through. I don’t want conversation to spiral into vitriol.  Maybe that means nobody will comment here … so be it. I do want to see conversation going forward on this topic, at least in this space of my blog, as having the civility and respect for diversity that I am drawn to in the conversations I engage in in the “real world”.

I am considering other changes to this site as well in terms of content featured.  If you have any thoughts feel free to let me know.

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Last weekend sucked … let’s have a better one this time around. Don’t stop living.  I like light and lightness … in these times more than ever.   If you are in Hillcrest tomorrow night maybe I’ll see you at the Trans Day of Remembrance.

 

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