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.