The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) recently celebrated their eighth anniversary. US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Shaun Donovan addressed the event as the keynote speaker, the first time a US cabinet secretary has spoken at a transgender event.
Since its founding in 1998, the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) has been held internationally to help us remember those who have been killed because of prejudice and hatred. This year, the day falls on Sunday, November 20th. Not only will we honor the memory of Rita Hester, whose death led to the founding of TDOR, but we will also pay tribute to those who have been listed in the news this year and others and those who have not.
There is a big doorframe standing on campus in front of the dining hall, the door swinging free on its hinges every couple of minutes as people line up, some jumping out playfully and screaming, “I’m a lesbian!”, others simply walking through, a handwritten sign held haphazardly in one hand, “Genderqueer.” People cycle through the door, each announcement made individually, whether to reinforce the pride in one’s identity, or to take that first step into acceptance of self, that of letting others see you as you are. Each emergence is met with celebration.