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.


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.



  1. alan e jones says

    i think everyone in the world all people all genders are looking for the same thing. we do it in many different ways . we are all longing to love ourselves and be loved and accepted by others. if we can accept that fact and love as best we can this world be a much better place for us all.

  2. The Sceptic says

    Joel. I cannot say that I “feel” your pain, or even understand it. What I can say is that focusing on all the “hatred” and internal conflict within your community is counterproductive to your search/need for optimism.
    Try looking elsewhre outside your normal circleof friends for reasons to feel positive about yourself

    • Joel Nowak says

      I am not even sure how to answer this because it is so far off the mark in understanding my current situation (and my current thinking) in nearly every regard. (Not your fault.) I understand the logic behind the advice that you are trying to give me but these are dead ends to me now. I am ready to go somewhere different. I think a lot of other people are as well.

      I realized today it is silly for me to think I can get to it in just one post or video. If you are hardened in your convictions there isn’t going to be much on my blog to interest you going forward I’m afraid. For those that want to think “out of the box” I am hoping maybe this site will be able to contribute (if even in a small way) to an ongoing conversation with others who sincerely desire real change and are ready to do what it takes to at least TRY to make headway with some of these very real problems.

  3. The Sceptic says

    Sadly, these remarks reflect a typically myopic view exhibited by those that just simply cannot have things their way, engendering those familiar memes of victimization and “community”. The truth is that the world, the real world, just does not function based on, or even care about those things.

    I know that this sounds harsh but rather than focus on those issues which cause people to malfunction socially, causing society to shun them, the narrative focuses on the shortcomings and “intolerance” of society and its members.

    It just makes no sense to me and does nothing to address the basic underlying problems.

    • Joel Nowak says


      I have more to say on this and I had hoped to do a quick video about it the other day but I didn’t say much it was a waste of time and so I’m not putting on my blog. But I’m gonna give another try.

      I thought Connor’sspeech was great. He said a lot of stuff that I was really on board with and just knowing some of our recent history it resonated with me all the more. I’m gonna take a stab at writing a little bit more about this stuff or maybe I will do a video. I’ll try to do it really soon maybe tonight maybe tomorrow but soon. I see a lot of things to be optimistic about and I want to focus on those right now. I desperately need some optimism right now. Seriously.

Hi, diverse opinions are welcome here I just ask that comments be on topic. Also, if you are posting anonymously please know that sharing your opinions is more helpful to this site than sharing unverifiable life experience or identities