Gender & SexualityWar, Violence & Terrorism

The List

There’s a list, and on the 20th of Novem­ber, that list gets read (aloud) by many trans people around the world, in remem­brance of their depar­ted siblings.

It’s a list of named and unnamed trans people who have died from unnat­ural causes dur­ing the past year.

That means murder.

That means suicide.

This list only con­tains repor­ted deaths. Many sib­lings who have died or taken their own lives are not on it, because they were never found, because no one cared to report their death, or because the people involved deny the fact that the per­son was trans.

I’m afraid that someone I know will end up on that list next year.

I’m afraid that the next time I meet a guy alone on a train who wants to have sex with me, he won’t leave me alone after I reject him, and I’ll end up on that list next year.

I’m afraid, even though I know I’m stat­ist­ic­ally less likely to end up on that list than my sib­lings who are of col­our, who are sex work­ers, who live in other parts of the world…

I’m angry that I feel com­pelled to write this post, when I’m already hav­ing a hard time deal­ing with my own trans­ness and its consequences. 

I’m angry because for many of us, it’s already dif­fi­cult enough being and becom­ing ourselves, without the threat of violence.

And I am fuck­ing angry that this graph is point­ing upwards. That the killing of trans people is on the rise. That our right to exist on our own terms is being violated.

So, I pray for all the people on the list, that they will have found the peace that was denied to them in life.

I pray that all my sib­lings who are still alive may be spared the hatred and viol­ence that is the cause of this list.

I pray that we are merely exper­i­en­cing the viol­ent death rattles of cis–patriarchal hege­mony, and that we are on the brink of an era where fewer and fewer people will be vic­tims of gender-based persecution.