"Being transgender today can feel like living a life in crisis. We enter the world every day never knowing if it’ll welcome us, or if it’ll take away our jobs, our homes or even our lives." ~Shea Diamond
Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance and, this year alone, we’ve lost at least 22 trans or gender non-conforming people to senseless acts of violence. Of those murdered, 91 percent were Black trans women — and more than 80 percent were under the age of 30.
As a parent of a transgender girl I can tell you that she has never questioned her gender. Neither does my four-year-old son question his. My fear for her future brings me anxiety and distress. I fear for her safety. This is visceral, cuts me to the quick, heart pounding and leaves me shaking, hot, with adrenalin coursing through my veins. I fear for her medical care. Knowing we cannot access even the most basic of needs locally. We drive hours to the pediatrician for a tummy ache. What happens if we get into an accident, what happens if I'm hurt and we are separated? What happens if I can't protect her? Tears flowing...I can't, it wont. Please stop. JUST STOP.
I fear for the time when I cannot protect her in our bubble. Raise her on our private pedestal and tell her how beautiful and amazing she, as I do with all of my children. Snuggling them, encouraging and reminding them daily that they are all made in God's image. When friends and outside influences become paramount and deadnaming and misgendering lead to cutting, harming and suicide attempts, as I see so many of my fellow families facing.
So today, on Transgender Remembrance Day, I go there. I let myself walk in awash of fears, in the what-ifs of tomorrow. Because tomorrow I have to live in the day. I have to be strong. Live in the twenty-four hours I am given and do my very best to live in love, kindness and forgiveness. But don't be fooled. Underneath that badass persona, that joking, jovial shell lies her mom. That woman who sits in moments of silence and wonders if people really understood, really knew us, would they treat us with such judgment and hostility (even covertly)? Would they legislate and vote against her? Would they make jokes on Saturday Night Live that are harmful? Would they use religion as a weapon against her identity and soul and those of all trans people?