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Transgender Day of Remembrance

Not all of us are lucky enough to be born into a body that matches our gender.  We all bare our battle scars.  Growing up is tough.  Growing up transgendered is even more so.  And sometimes – thanks to the ignorance and brutality of others – it is actually impossible.

Today is the 13th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.  Today, I ask you to do ONE THING.  Regardless of your beliefs, regardless of your feelings, regardless of who you are or who you know or who you want to be.  Take a few minutes and read through the list of people at this web page:  http://www.transgenderdor.org/?page_id=1663

The people listed there are all individuals who have suffered and died at the hands of others for being born different and having the strength to live honestly.  23 people who have suffered horrendously because they had the courage to be who they were.  23 people who lost their lives because of bigotry and hate.  23 people, this year alone, their lives stolen, savagely, all for the crime of living a genuine life.

I’m not asking you to change.  I’m not asking you to weep.  I’m not asking you to speak out.  I’m just asking you to read their names, read how they died, and remember that they were people once.

http://www.transgenderdor.org/?page_id=1663

I try to forget that it’s Remembrance Day.

On November 11th, every year after 1993, I do my best to forget that it’s Remembrance Day.  It may not seem appreciative, it may be politically incorrect, but it’s what I do to try to cope.  My sister was killed on Remembrance Day in 1993.  She was twelve, I was sixteen.  And in that instant the meaning of the day changed for me.

It was seventeen years ago now.   After that many years, it’s easy to get through the day to day.  After that many years her not being a part of my life is normal.

But on Remembrance Day it’s a whole different story.

One day a year those feelings become fresh, become new, and I experience the loss all over again.  One day a year I remember the annoying kid who drove me up the wall, yet who, at the same time, I loved totally and completely.  One day a year I remember my sister who never got to grow up.

I am so appreciative of all those men, women, and canines who have given so completely of themselves to ensure our freedom and safety. I am so grateful of the sacrifices made in the past, the sacrifices currently being made, and the sacrifices that will be made in the future.  So many amazing individuals giving of themselves in a way most of us can barely comprehend.  For the greater good – an idea, a concept that for so many has very little real and concrete meaning – but for our veterans and soldiers means everything.  Thank you!  To all of you!

Canadians have done amazing things worldwide, I am proud of our peacekeeping efforts.  We are a nation that believes in equality and in inalienable human rights, and our troops have given of themselves to ensure those rights for all people.  So please do not think that my attempts to forget, and ignore the date have anything to do with what Remembrance Day is supposed to be about.  It’s just that, for me and for my family, it is about remembering something entirely different.

It’s about my sister, Regan.

It’s about having someone you love ripped away from you.  It’s about all the things she had yet to do, and had yet to become, all the things she had hoped for.  It’s about the small moments we remember and that we now cling to… because they are all that’s left.

She was only twelve, and now she’s gone.

I will be glad when it’s November 12th, and we’ll have made it through another Remembrance Day.  Because, for a family to move on from something like this, you need to forget.  To cope, to survive, sometimes you just need to forget.

 

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