Today is the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance that started in the late 90s. It is often marked by words, prayers, moments of silence, and the reading of the names of people who have faced violence and death over the past year. Policy and elections are places we often look to make changes, but I feel like events like this are important too for changing the culture and supporting each other in the LGBTQ and allied community. Not that there isn't policy to address. As OutServe points out, there are issues with military service for transgender people despite the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. Not to mention fairness in housing, policing, safety, and employment which Raleigh made progress on last month.
By repealing DADT, the country and the military have taken a significant step toward equality for all who want to serve their country in uniform. But there are other discriminatory policies in the military that the repeal of DADT does not change, including the medical regulatory ban in place for aspiring or current service members who identify as transgender.
Issues for transgender individuals may come up at the time of enlistment, appointment or commissioning into the armed forces, or may arise for personnel already serving in the military.
Everyone in this photo was asked to read the name of a transgender person who has died over the past year. It's a sad reminder of how much work there is to be done that this was not nearly enough people to represent all the names that needed to be spoken and remembered. Some of us were asked to take on more names. Tonight I remember Bhrenda, Joahana, Cagla, Valquiria, Manuel, Giovanna, Mileide, Poly, Wanderley, Willy, and Candy.
Thanks for writing, Jake
Thanks for posting this note. The physical and other violence facing trans-identified people is staggering. This week and last, I saw more coverage of this national event than in years past, which is encouraging. And, just in the past couple of years, there has been a lot more media coverage of, and media portrayals of, trans people that are somewhat more positive; that's also encouraging. But, so much needs to be done.