Earlier today I received a call from a dear friend, another transgender woman. Some weeks back, two trans women she knew went missing. Their bodies were recently found and have now been identified.
THIS is what happens to people like me in this country based on hatred and violence.
THIS is what happens to people like me in this country where it is just fine to treat my existence as a joke.
THIS is what happens to people like me in a world where I am not entitled to dignity, where my most profound inner experience of who I am is blithely brushed aside as a whim or a lifestyle choice.
THIS is what happens to people like me when my life has no value whatsoever.
We wind up murdered in garbage bags.
You want to know why the real murder rate of trans women is much, much higher than the numbers cited on Days of Remembrance? Look no further.
One of the victims, who was also very definitely a trans woman, was identified by the police and the press as a man and called by her dead name, which I refuse to write here. They are using an old picture of her, one that was probably provided by her family.
I imagine that her family is insisting on the misgendering and the use of her dead name and the use of an image she would have found profoundly abhorrent in ways that cisgender people can never understand.
I suppose her family won in the end.
Even in death she is not allowed to be who she was. The friend who called me, who has good reason not to trust her relatives, says she is going to burn the remaining pictures she has from her old life.
I have a request. If I am murdered, please let me be me.