Just two years ago, I stood before a small gathering of people in front of Expressions Community Church in Oklahoma City and I gave a speech that I hoped would empower people. I hoped to drive home the point that those who we’ve lost to hate are not really gone, but rather serving as beacons for our cause; a reason to persist.
Today I will attend this same event in the wake of more deaths. I will continue to stand resolute with my Trans brothers, sisters, and allies, to proclaim that I am NOT broken. I am still here, and I will NOT extend a white flag. I will die as the person I know I am; regardless of the circumstance. No amount of ignorance and targeted hate will change my course.
This administration can try to delegitimize us, they can marginalize us, but they cannot stem the tide that’s coming. We are here, and we deserve equal dignity, and equal respect.
I’ve grown weary of wanna-be supporters who say we should be treated fairly but that they don’t want us waving our “lifestyle” in their face. They are the most grandiose of all TERFs because they profess to be an ally on some level. What they fail to understand is that what they deem a lifestyle thrown into their face is anything but a lifestyle. If that were true, then we’ve been forced to view their “lifestyle” since the dawn of time, and in many situations, we’ve been forced into therapies in an attempt to inflict those “lifestyles” upon us. That’s a heinous act that, we in the Trans community, have no desire to push on to those very same people.
The hardcore reality is that, this is not a lifestyle at all, it’s a manifestation of what one needs to live their own life as happily as possible. The same people who think we’re pushing an agenda take no responsibility for the destructive course that what their pushing will have upon us. We do NOT endeavour to make Cisgender people conform to a Transgender life, but merely to understand that we are incapable of conforming to that which they force upon us.
Today we honor our dead; those who have been callously and maliciously killed by people who were too ashamed to address their own shame. It is NOT our responsibility to coddle those who are so callow that they cannot turn to face their own true selves. We do not exist to convert; we exist because our choice to hold our ground will give rise to those who know exactly who they are, but who are held captive by a murderous and spiteful narrative that we are not Godly.
Nothing could be more untrue. God made us, God is with us, and those who truly know God take no issue with loving us as they love themselves.
There isn’t an all powerful “Trans Lobby” that’s been repeatedly ginned up by our oppressors; moreover, the only Agenda we have is simply to exist without being denied basic dignity. Unfortunately the louder we speak to these needs, the more people seem to become equally compelled to eradicate us by targeting the most vocal among us. We exist where we stand; where we hold our ground, and proudly proclaim that WE will NOT be exterminated! Asgard wasn’t a place; it was a people, and we are our own Asgard.
We shall hold our ground until the day that we no longer need to maintain the Transgender Day of Remembrance as solemn, but rather a day of triumph. We will stand until this day need not remind us of a tragedy, but rather a day of celebration; a day when the children of God do not war against the children of God. On that day, we shall celebrate our unity instead of our fallen.
Until then, we stand resolute. We are not the sum of our fallen, but rather the sum of those who have chosen to live in spite of our fallen. We will not surrender to tyranny because the alternative means suffering silently under the hands of that same tyranny.
November 20th is not a proselytization of those whom have been defeated, November 20th is a day when we declare the names of those who refuted defeat by choosing to live open and authenticly. November 20th is the day when we honor our brave soldiers, and declare that we intend to stand our ground with every breath we take.
November 20th is our Independence Day!
Kira Wertz (she/her) is a married Transgender woman who openly identifies as pansexual. She is a top writer in LGBTQ for Medium, Editor of The Transition Transmission, and Professional Truck Driver. Kira is a strong advocate for Transgender rights, especially the rights of Transgender youth. She is a public speaker, a panelist, and can often be found helping her local Transgender community. You can connect with Kira on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.