Today is one of the saddest days in the transgender community. It's Transgender Day of Remembrance, the day when we honor our dead, specifically those who have been killed because of their gender expression. This year, 265 people have left us forever because of hateful people lashing out at something they did not understand with violence. We've made a lot of progress over the years, but until a November 20th rolls by with no deaths to honor, than we're never finished fighting.
Even if you can't attend a memorial service tonight, take a moment to think about our fallen brothers and sisters. Think about their last short moments of terror as someone, usually someone they were close to, ended their life. That is why we must never stop working to make this world a better place. So we no longer have to live in fear when we begin a relationship with someone. So we no longer worry about being spotted and targeted for a hate crime. So we no longer hear lawyers and defendants using the "gay panic" defense as a justification for taking the life of another human being.
We are the lucky ones. We are the survivors this year. Let's not waste such a precious gift by hiding or being silent. Our lives are short and precious. Let's use them to fight back until we no longer draw breath. Because every year, some of us become sacrificed on the alter of hatred and if we don't stand up and say, "ENOUGH!", than our silence will be taken as consent and next year we'll have even more names to honor.
Tonight, we honor our brothers and sisters and shed a tear for what should not be. Tomorrow, we rise up and give the world hell. Tomorrow, we hold others accountable for their hatred, their silence, and their indifference. Let's make sure our fallen are not forgotten or abused even further in their death. Hopefully next year, we won't need a Day of Remembrance.