November 20 is Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day to mourn the lives of trans people who have been killed in the United States and around the world and to stand in solidarity with the trans community. Recently, it has also become known as a day of Resilience, reminding us to advocate for and celebrate the lives of trans people as well as to grieve for the dead.
2021 has been the deadliest year on record for violence against transgender people in the U.S., with at least 46 reported homicides thus far, most of them Black or Latinx women. These individuals are not just statistics, but people created with inherent worth and dignity in the image of a loving God. They were siblings, children, parents and friends. They were students, scientists, artists and advocates, each with their own stories that were abruptly ended in violence.
As members of the Mercy community, we stand resolutely against discrimination and violence, emboldened by our Critical Concerns, particularly those of racism, nonviolence and women. As we continue to respond to our Chapter 2017 Recommitment to “hear the cry of our suffering world,” our continued education on gender identity and sexual orientation compels us to move to the margins in solidarity with our LGBTQ+ siblings.
As Mercy, we can pray:
- Consider remembering the dead in a litany of names of all those killed this year.
- Examine our own inherent biases and homophobic ideas.
As Mercy, we can listen:
- Take the time to read and hear the stories of transgender people in their anguish and their joy, listening deeply with compassion and integrity.
- Continue to attend SOGI events to become more educated on LGBTQ+ issues and lived experience.
- Be inspired by a conversation with an LGBTQ+ sister or read the beautiful ones collected in Love Tenderly.
As Mercy, we can act:
- With the Holy Spirit as our guide, we can stand against bigotry and hatred and promote peace and inclusion of all children of God.
- Show up at Pride parades and LGBTQ+ events, condemn heterosexist or homophobic language and continue to practice radical welcome as Jesus taught us.
Becoming allies with the trans and larger LGBTQ+ community might require us to stretch our comfort zones, but on Trans Day of Remembrance and beyond, it is truly a concrete way to witness to mercy in the dignity of every person and to pursue integrity of our words and our deeds.