The day began in 1999 after the 1998 death of Rita Hester. Her murder, like so many transgender murders, remains unsolved.
Rev. Paul Turner has an excellent memorial posted at Rev. Bitch, Sir:
The people we mourn for this day are apart of the community most would just as soon not deal with. Oh we go to watch the drag shows and tell our jokes and we have added a “T” to the GLB_Q but don’t really take seriously folks in the transgender community live in a very dangerous and un-supportive world.
We do not take seriously they find it extremely difficult to get jobs, get health care or any kind of support and dignity.
In fact just this past month Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi and the HRC made it clear they were not even worth naming in a piece of legislation design to give us job protection. The political spin was that it could not pass if the transgender community was part of it.
In fact, the leaders of HRC told me they were nothing more then a “political calculation”
So the message went out loud and clear...it is still open season on those who would dare to transition from one gender to another.
Let us pray for those we have lost:
A Prayer for Transgender Day of Remembrance
God of creation, Source of life,
we behold your newness with each new day.
We watch how the seasons transition
from winter to spring to summer to fall
and then the cycle is renewed.
Your creative process of life
is ever before us in all its diversity
and human life is no exception.
As we observe Transgender Day of Remembrance,
we pray with thanksgiving
for those whose lives have been cut short
by fear, hatred, and violence
because they were perceived to be different,
because they had the courage to live their lives
with integrity and openness,
because they did not conform
to someone else’s view of how they should live.
We remember and give thanks
for the seasons of their lives,
for the love and friendships they shared
and the ways in which their living
has been a gift to us all.
Be present to those of us who are grieving,
may your peace rest on us.
Be present to those of us who are angry,
may the power of your love inspire and embolden us
to use our anger to dismantle hate,
the fear of difference and all that incites violence.
And send us out into the world
with the wisdom and guidance of your Spirit
and with evangelical courage
that we may work in solidarity with one another
to build your community of welcome, justice and peace.
We pray in the name of the Christ, who transforms the world. Amen.
Prayer by Rev. Mike Schuenemeyer,
Transgender Day of Remembrance, 2006