The purpose of this day, since its inception 15 years ago, is to remember all those trans people who have died as a consequence of being trans – either by their own hand, or by being murdered.
The figures go up each year – perhaps because more cases are properly reported (though many trans murders and suicides are still recorded as gay- rather than trans-related by recidivist police and press), and perhaps because there are more and more out trans people around the world as time goes on.
But when I say “because”, I don’t mean that people are dying because they’re trans – I mean that people are taking their own lives because being trans in unsupportive conditions can be such a huge burden; people are being murdered because there are transphobic people out there who wish to do us harm.
I’d like us not just to call to mind the dead, but also the struggling living, who are with us (who may be us) and need our love and support, and encouragement, who need us to educate and open the minds of those who hate or fear us.
And the best tribute we can pay to the dead among us is to live well. In spite of all that persuasion to think of ourselves as unworthy of care and love, we can love and care for ourselves, for each other, for everyone we encounter.
Revenge is a dish best unmade, uneaten – but the best revenge against hatred is to live as better people than those who hate.