Today is the eleventh annual Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), a day when trans people and allies are encouraged to pause and remember the people who have died in the previous year for the simple crime of being trans (or even, in the case of one person on this year’s list, loving a trans person.) Today events will be held all around the world to memorialize, celebrate, and educate people about the lives of trans people and the all-to-often fatal prejudice they face.
Which isn’t to say that there aren’t controversies even inside the trans community about TDOR. Some people find it overly morbid–that by making our annual celebration about people who have been killed, we make ourselves out to be victims, not strong people struggling against sometimes impossible barriers. (I once heard a transsexual woman describe the day as a “pity party.”) Another criticism is that we should be celebrating our lives, not our deaths–that people who are trans and live “normal” or “successful” lives should be the focus of our celebration, not the unfortunates that died.
But not me.