November 20th marked the 16th annual international Transgender Day of Remembrance. It also marks the day I learned transphobic violence is responsible for the death of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of transgendered people worldwide. It marks the day I learned 271 transgendered people ranging in age from 15 to 64 were murdered in the last 12 months. It marks the day I learned every three days a transgendered person, most often a trans-women of colour, is murdered at the hands of a transphobic man. It marks the day I first understood the extent of hate some direct towards this community.
I get it and I weep.
Our friend Bobbi had the honour of reading 38 names aloud at the Winnipeg Transgender Day of Remembrance. Many other names were read at the assembly, but Bobbi read 38. It was her duty and her right. She read thirty-eight names aloud with a strong voice. She honoured their lives. She gave them voice. She gave them light. She comforted their families and their loved ones. She acknowledged their hopes and dreams. Bobbi read 38 names with a strong voice...
...and 38 resonates in my heart.
This week I will run 38 miles with strong legs. It's not much, hardly a blip, but it's something. It shows I care. Please join me.
Take 38 steps, walk 38 blocks, take 38 deep breaths, climb 38 stairs, build 38 transgendered snowmen, commit 38 acts of random kindness, give freely 38 hugs, smile at 38 strangers, donate 38 dollars. Just do something 38 this week and, for heaven's sake, be sure to tell Bobbi.
It's a good day to be alive.