Essay: Cisgender Person Writes of their Lessons from their First Transgender Day of Remembrance

I don’t normally include essays from cisgender people about transgender people in my reading list, but Shane’a Thomas had some interesting turns of phrase and passion which indicate to me that even though, as he says, “I will not pretend that I have “been there” or “done that,” even if I do belong to one of the letters in the rainbow acronym.”

Take a minute from your day to read the essay – I’ll include a couple of good quotes.

As a cisgender person, I constantly have to work toward trans* awareness in my teaching and in my language. Why? Because I see and respect being trans* as the purest form of existence. The trans* person’s awe-inspiring ability to take the broken pieces of our society’s systems of social construct and fit them together to create a complete human being is beyond my ability to understand.

Trans* people are being executed in broad daylight, and as human beings, these deaths are our legacy. Evil is no longer hiding in the shadows of night or in a closed space. What do I do to create safety for trans* folks around me? These violent deaths happen due to the failure of the living to provide safety. The loss of a trans* person, whose gender expression is one of the purest forms of expression of self, true self, inside and out, is a loss to anyone who claims that they are human. Saving a life and providing safety is earning your keep and the privilege to say you are human.

Lessons From My First Transgender Day of Remembrance | Shane’a Thomas.

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