Gay Guru: CT Transgender Day of Remembrance

To develop my political opinions, and tune my slightly out-of-whack moral compass, I turn to my dear friend, Queer Theory.  He’s very wise and helps enormously to keep me abreast of what’s going on in the world. So naturally when he firmly makes his stance on a political or queer social issue, I make an inflammatory remark to infuriate him. Because I love him I pull his pigtails on the playground. What usually follows is an exhaustive discussion wherein I play “devil’s advocate” for a spell. When I sense he’s had enough, I cave, and quickly align myself with Queer Theroy’s views.  I do so cherish our quality time.

A few weeks ago I got an invite from Queer Theory to attend CT Transgender Day of Remembrance, which is the 9th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance recognized internationally.  The purpose of the day is to “memorialize transgender people who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice.”

The event started this past Saturday with an evening gathering at the First Presbyterian Church on Capitol Avenue in Hartford, followed by a brisk and chilly walk to the North steps of Connecticut’s Capitol Building. I missed that because I am rude and can’t ever be on time for things.

The rally of 150 or so people consisted of straight, gay and trans people, both young and old alike.  Once at the Capitol, the group was addressed by State Representative Mike Lawlor. Honestly, there may have been something before that, but again, I was late and arrived in the middle of Rep. Lawlor’s speech.

Following  State Rep. Lawlor, people read the names of trans people that have been the victims of murder all over the world in the past year. As people read the names, ages and a few details of the slain, a chill went through me. It was a chill that cut much deeper than the blustery fall wind ever could.

After the reading of the names, there was a little motivational chanting, some discussion of the ever present school bullying issue and then….some singing.  While the energy was very high, the singing was a little dismal.

As late as I may have been, my knack for inflammatory remarks was right on time. I turned to Queer Theory and said, “You know, when you come out for a queer event, you really expect more of a show, a little flash…something. This is like church. There isn’t one feather boa in this entire crowd!”  To which he pointedly responded, “That is probably because it’s a memorial remembrance.” The rally moved onto the Hartford Metropolitan Community Church for a Program of Remembrance and I made my exit.

My darlings, having done some freelance work for a fetish site, I have walked in heels, and I have walked in steel-toed boots. All joking aside though, I know of no harder road to walk than that of a trans-man, trans-woman or the gender non-conforming. I was honored to stand amongst these giant and often overlooked pillars of strength in our community, and those that support them, love them, and champion their fight for equality.

Currently, there is no law on the books in Connecticut that makes it illegal to discriminate in employment, housing, credit, or public accommodations on the basis of gender identity or expression.  I know of no other way to honor Connecticut’s trans community than to get such protection through Connecticut’s legislation.

All I can ask of you darlings is to take a few moments, and pop over to www.ctequality.com and study up on the situation. If you feel so moved as to use their handy-dandy tool to find out who your local legislator is, and contact them to ask them to support equality and legislation adding the class “gender identity or expression” to existing non-discrimination laws in 2011, well I would just love that as would a whole bunch of people that those laws would serve to protect.

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