As we commemorate National Transgender Day of Remembrance, may we make presente all those who have been silenced, impacted, and marginalized by violence by religious communities, social circles, families, and other spaces that do not affirm, welcome, or even simply acknowledge those of us who live and love beyond outdated understandings and definitions of gender, identity, and expression. On this day may we respark our commitment to celebrate all people as sacred and create spaces that embrace the gender integrity of all—where violence towards others is replaced with respect for our complex wholeness, where we are not limited or dehumanized by categories or boxes, and where we can simply be. Que asi sea!!!
May we honor the spirits, lives, and memories of those who have died as a result of violent ignorance and seek to heal those whose dignity and worth have been shattered by blind misunderstanding.
All those who have transformed and transgressed norms, boundaries, and categories…presente!!! www.transgenderdor.org/memorializing-2012
(for information and resources engaging transgender lives, please visit the q-sources tab)
Prayers for today
From the Women’s Ordination Conference …
Oh, St. Joan,
You were called by God beyond your culture’s concepts of gender
to be more fully, and wonderfully yourself
On this Transgender Day of Remembrance
be with all those who have been killed, as you were killed
for being brave enough to be themselves.
Welcome them into the communion of saints
and pray for the peace of their families and friends.
You, who led your people:
Lead us now into a world where no one needs to be afraid
In their homes, in their neighborhoods, or in their churches
For being who they are, fearfully and wonderfully made by God
St Joan, pray for us.
(© Copyright, Christine Haider-Winnett 2012)
Dear God, why are people so threatened by transgender folk? How could we ever so dehumanize or demonize the “other” that we would feel compelled and justified to harm them? Transgender people are ridiculed, harassed, beaten, and even killed just for being “different.” Have we not evolved beyond such violent intolerance? Is this who we really are as a species? How can there be so much hate, ignorance, fear, and rage just because someone’s reality doesn’t match our expectations of them? Why should expect anything?
So, God, I spend this moment to honor those brave transgender people who lost their lives simply because they found the courage to live their truth. I spend this moment hoping that those who mourn the loss of their transgendered loved ones will find comfort. I spend this moment praying for healing for our violent and all too often hate-filled world. I spend this moment asking for forgiveness for the times that I have done something that made things worse or failed to do something that might have made things better for transgender people. I spend this moment wishing for a world where every person can live safely with dignity and pride in harmony with all others.
When apathy, ignorance, privilege, or prejudice hurts others, may we stand up and speak out and be agents for positive change in our world. And on this Transgender Day of Remembrance, I affirm that all victims of hate and violence live on in your heart where there is only goodness, love, and light. Amen.
God full of mercy, bless the souls of all who are in our hearts on this Transgender Day of Remembrance. We call to mind today young and old, of every race, faith, and gender experience, who have died by violence. We remember those who have died because they would not hide, or did not pass, or did pass, or stood too proud. Today we name them: the reluctant activist; the fiery hurler of heels; the warrior for quiet truth; the one whom no one really knew.
As many as we can name, there are thousands more whom we cannot, and for whom no Kaddish may have been said. We mourn their senseless deaths, and give thanks for their lives, for their teaching, and for the brief glow of each holy flame. We pray for the strength to carry on their legacy of vision, bravery, and love.
And as we remember them, we remember with them the thousands more who have taken their own lives. We pray for resolve to root out the injustice, ignorance, and cruelty that grow despair. And we pray, God, that all those who perpetrate hate and violence will speedily come to understand that Your creation has many faces, many genders, many holy expressions.
Blessed are they, who have allowed their divine image to shine in the world.
Blessed is God, in Whom no light is extinguished.
(Prayer written by Reuben Zellman)