Each year, I take the time to read the names of those transgender individuals who were murdered the year before. Each year, I feel physically sick to think of what it must have been like to be killed for being yourself. So much cruelty, so much anger, by so many people.
This year, though, I almost forgot about the Transgender Day of Remembrance, otherwise known as TDOR. I realized that I didn’t want to remember. I felt tired, mostly from the election and its aftermath and reading about hate crime after hate crime in the news.
I didn’t want to spend time thinking about the toxic cruelty of people. I wanted to watch fuzzy videos of cats playing with string. I wanted to remember the goodness of people.
I wanted today to be like my other clinical days. Often, full of hope, I spend my waking hours supporting those who are trying to be their full selves: in spirit, in dress, in body, in heart, in name, and in identity label.
As a psychologist, I often think about the possible results of being one's full magnificent self, wearing the clothes that make them feel good, getting acceptance from loved ones, feeling happy and content, hearing their chosen name spoken, and the confidence that goes along with the acceptance of yourself by yourself. I feel so happy, so glad to be in this role, and so grateful to support those who ache to be themselves.
And yet, today is different.
On November 20th, the leaders behind Transgender Remembrance Day encourage people to remember those we have lost to violence.
It's overwhelming. It is so very sad. My stomach clenches in response to reading the names and seeing the ages and the pictures of those who have died and I realize that
while I am stunned, horrified, and repulsed by the loss of life, I have also responded to these losses in a different way:
I have become afraid.
I fear the death of those I care about ~ my friends, colleagues, clients, community members, and myself. I do not want to die because I happen to fit under the trans umbrella. I feel my hope wane.
At this time, each year, when my hope has been lost to a sea of fear, I try to peel myself off the couch and drag myself to a community event where I’ll be surrounded by people who care. I then participate in the ceremony to remember those who have died during the year.
Somehow, when we remember together, it’s easier than mourning alone.
If you want a place to go and you are in the San Diego area, please make your way to the Transgender Day of Remembrance in Oceanside, California https://www.facebook.com/events/1880008322227975/ .
There are other events to attend that can be found listed at https://tdor.info/2016/09/27/tdor-events-and-locations-2016/ .
I wish you well today, tonight, and always. While I will be working this November 20th, I will hold you in my heart and wish you comfort as you mourn.
Dr. Abi Weissman
AS ALWAYS, THIS POST DOES NOT REPRESENT A THERAPEUTIC RELATIONSHIP. NOR DOES IT GIVE INDIVIDUAL ADVICE. IF YOU ARE IN A CRISIS, PLEASE CALL 911 OR GO TO YOUR CLOSEST EMERGENCY ROOM. IF YOU ARE IN NEED OF COUNSELING OR THERAPY AND ARE IN THE SAN DIEGO OR POWAY AREA, YOU ARE WELCOME TO CONTACT ME, DR. ABI WEISSMAN, AT 619-403-5578 OR INFO@DOCTORABI.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT MY PRACTICE.