Monday, November 21, 2011

International Transgender Day of Remembrance

Yesterday was Transgender Remembrance Day. The names were read out in church - by straight, trans, and gay members of the congregation alike.

It was beautifully done: very simple, very poignant, very moving.

We were probably the only church in Scotland directly incorporating the ceremony into the main service. I felt proud to be there: it was about giving honour to the dead, but about honouring the living, too.

What wasn’t read out was the manner of death. There have been so many horrific and savage murders recently. Expressing a particularly vicious and malevolent kind of hatred.

Last Sunday I went to early communion at Liverpool’s Anglican cathedral.

The vast building towered over me as I made my way inside, and it struck me as a powerful symbol of patriarchal authority.

Once inside, I could find no-one anywhere, and no trace of the service. The huge space was deserted.

Eventually I found the service, in a tiny side chapel.

There were four of us there: us four the only traces of life in that huge stone vastness.

It strikes me that traditional forms of authority - whether religious or political - are a bit like that: vast and imposing on the outside, but hollow on the inside.

With their creativity sucked dry: without the ability to come up with the new solutions the situation demands.

Able only to block, or damage. Or kill and destroy.

As so many of our trans brothers and sisters have in the past year been so viciously destroyed.

I feel somehow involved in a life and death struggle with all this: and it frightens me.

But I have a sense history is on our side.
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