Victim to Victor

This was written for the Transgender Day of Remembrance here in Charlotte.


Victim to Victor

We transgendered are often advised to "pick our battles." Many of the people whose names are read tonight didn't have that opportunity – some were killed in their own homes. It seems that sometimes the battle comes to us.

What can you do to make it a safer world for you?

  • Be prepared. There are numerous sources of safety tips for women; follow them – live them.
  • If you want to date, be up-front with your status. Yes, this will greatly reduce your chances, but it will also greatly increase your safety.
  • Even if you are not "out," if you hear someone make jokes about TGs, tell them you don't think it's funny.
  • Occasionally tell people that you know a TG and they are normal people like you and me.
  • Don't be confrontational; don't make a battle where there isn't one. Be cooperative and educational. You'll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
  • Understand yourself. Look at your motives for entering situations; you may be unconsciously causing your own problems. If you can't do this yourself, talk to friends or a counselor.

What can we do to make it a safer world for all of us?

  • Let your elected officials know that you support anti-discrimination measures. Once they know there's enough support, they will work on it.
  • Support hate-crimes legislation. Part of this is to make sure that we all know just how prevalent the problem is. And knowing that helps get it taken care of.
  • Even if you aren't "religious," learn how to discuss the issue with those who are. Much of the bigotry is based on misunderstanding religious teachings.
  • Perhaps the most important measure we can take is to be out there, showing others that we're normal and present no harm to them.

Despite the incidents that bring us here tonight, the world is a better place today because of those who have gone before. We, in a sense, stand on their shoulders. But is incumbent upon us to remember that those who are yet to come will stand on our shoulders. It is our responsibility to provide them a solid foundation and a positive model.

Peace is not the complete absence of conflict, nor is it the absence of busy-ness. Peace is being accepted for who you are, not who you have been or will be. There are pockets of peace in this world; seek them out and enjoy the feeling.

We don't have to be victims. We will win the war over time. Be positive; be proactive; be proud! Be a victor.