It’s nearly Trans Day of Remembrance again. It seems like everyone is reading lists of people who’ve been murdered for the crime of being transgender. This year, far-right moral crusaders have settled on children as the next target in their years-long mission to make damn sure those lists of killings keep getting longer.
I’m not lucky enough to have children of my own.
Like a lot of women in my community, mothering to me means taking care of my chosen family. Giving rides to the clinic. Throwing birthday parties and making sure everyone gets some cake. Writing scholarship recommendations. Doing the dishes. Bringing casseroles to hospital rooms. Bringing casseroles to weddings. Bringing casseroles to funerals.
Love, for me, involves a lot of casseroles.
When I dream of having children of my own, as I often do, I dream of raising a transgender girl.
Like my own parents, I guess I want to offer my child something I don't have: a wide and friendly world of possibility that’s completely open. One where all she has to do is reach out … just as if she might pluck fruit off a branch.
But too many of the ways we talk about transness today revolve around death. It forces me to relive memories of people I personally know who died because they are trans. Grim statistics in the media and online are inescapable. I crave lighter fare.
I know my trans family understands this. We all feel it – especially our Black sisters.
It’s important to understand that Trans Day of Remembrance is about cisgender people. Weird right? But yeah. One day a year we collectively do our best to show cisgender people what it feels like to carry the weight – the collective weight of these bodies. It’s a day for us to try to convince cisgender people to sit, for just a little bit, with something we feel all year round.
It doesn’t feel like this day is really meant for me.
I want our special days to be about dancing. I want them to be in the spring and the summer, not in the fall and the winter.
I’d prefer to introduce my someday-future-maybe daughter to my people as I want to see them. Lovely. Funny. Strong. Wise. Joyful. With a friendly world of possibility open to them and all they have to do is reach out … just as if they might pluck fruit off a branch.