national trans* day of remembrance … presente siempre

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national trans* day of remembrance … presente siempre

“While we mourn our [loved ones] who have passed, it is equally important to celebrate and acknowledge the lives of those who are still with us.” —Nisha Ayub, PT Foundation Malaysia

For many of us within the Latino community,

We believe that our ancestors and all who have lived before us,

They journey with us today…

We proclaim this conviction with “presente!”

Tonight all those who have been silenced through violence are presente!

They hold us, journey with us, are in solidarity with us…presente now and presente always.

We remember tonight people like Marinus, Joan of Arc, Fred Martinez, Sylvia Rivera…

All those who challenged society’s comfort of the binary…

Living and loving boldly beyond the norm.

Witnesses we honor here tonight for creating a path for us to live on today.

Tonight, presente, are the 12 trans women murdered in New York this year…

We remember all those broken so much that suicide is their only outlet for tragic wholeness…

Presente with us are all those people whose stories will remain unknown,

Whose faces are anomymous,

Who lives may or may not be a statistic…

All these people are presente.

Despite the pain,

Despite the violence,

Despite the harmful rhetoric seen earlier on campus…

Perhaps in chutzpah filled spite to systems that oppress and marginalize

Presente are the witnesses of courage, passion, anger, wowness

Presente too are the lives of Janet Mock, Laverne Cox, Justin Tanis, Rebecca Kling,

Angel Collie, Christopher Fike, Kate Borenstein…

people who are shifting the narrative in society making it known that trans people are here,

have always been here, and will always be here.

Presente too are the lives of all trans and gender variant people here at OU…

Queer heroes and sheroes like Jesper, Ann, Ryan, AlexaRae, Fen…

Lives we know and the countless we don’t know…

Everyday embodying with grace and sass the challenge to live, love, and laugh

Within and beyond the binary.

All of these lives, spirits, ancestors, heroes, sheroes, witnesses…

all presente.

Tonight is not only a time to remember the violence

But also a time to remember and re-member

Our resilience as a community.

We must hold onto and embrace and wrestle with resilience

So that the lives lost are not lost in vain—

Our resilience reflects that we are not victims but we are survivors…

More specifically we are thrivers…

I close with these words from Bantu, a trans person in Zambia…

Many heroes fall during battle and this fight to end exclusion and encourage the embracing of diversity often costs our comrades lives, those who put themselves in the front line and also those who simply just lived their lives but have been raped and murdered for being “different.”   But they are not forgotten, we honor those souls that slip away  And know that they are angels on this day. The memory of them lives on  As we sleep we see their face and we often imagine their warm embrace   So as long as we are alive, we will hold them in our hearts and as long as we can breathe our heroes will never be apart.   So as we bury you with honor we will grieve, then heal & pray and even though we’ll miss you we’ll be reunited one day and we will continue the struggle! — Trans Bantu Zambia

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About delfinwaldemar

i am a native of miami, fl and i am of cuban and salvadoran heritage. i am a social worker and queer theologian who is passionate about engaging the intersections of religion, sexuality, race/ethnicity, and justice—specifically around lgbtq issues. i have a master in divinity as well as a master of social work. as an activist scholar of faith, i am interested in creating spaces where individuals and communities are safe and challenged to explore identity, expression, gender, and orientation in their complexities. i enjoy cooking, eating, laughing, writing, photography, eating more, “queerying” theology, and spending time with family and friends--especially my dearly beloved (while also driving him crazy). my approach to life is rooted in la lucha (the struggle)—lifting up our stories and experiences to inspire creative and authentic conversations and actions that thrive outside boxes transgressing dominant narratives. i hope this space will provide folks who feel isolated or disconnected from communities, especially religious one, an opportunity to wrestle and reconnect and re-member and simply be with the sacred. being raised roman catholic, i have felt marginalized and alone because of who i am within my church community--my queerness bars me from being able to pursue ordination and so this blog will be a space for me to share my journey of faith through homilies, pictures, liturgies, rants, queeries...my prayer is that this space become a pulpit and sanctuary, a new way of living into our call to radical holiness juntos...a place where you, me, G-d will caminar juntos y juntas en la lucha. Amen.

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