Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance — the day to memorialize people who have been killed because of anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. Learn more or find an event in your area at TDOR.info.Dear friends,
During the first couple of years Lura and I corresponded, she frequently said she was concerned about my safety. I couldn’t imagine of what danger lurked for me. I took it that she just worried too much and might have slight persecutory delusion.
One time, I had to go to work and was too occupied to reply to her within my usual time frame. Lura became anxious and sent an e-mail that sounded like something horrible might have happened to me. I was sorry for worrying and realized I should have sent a quick note, but still didn’t understand her concern.
Then, during one of our discussions about Life Beyond My Body, she asked about the situation for transgender people in China — if there was violence or anyone was killed. I was astonished.
“No, that`s unheard of!” I replied.
She expressed great relief to learn there was no such violence in China and explained to me that was not the case around the world. That’s when I realized what she had meant by “safety” and why she had been so concerned.
It`s beyond my understanding that anyone could hate transgender people to the point of killing. I realize some people believe being transgender is an abomination, but murder is a much greater abomination, and transgender people are simply being the way they are — they are not doing any harm to anyone.
In China, the worst I have seen transgender people suffer is being ridiculed or stared at openly if their gender appears ambiguous. No one attacks. Maybe it’s because we don’t have the complications of racism or a dominant religion that holds resentful beliefs towards transgender people. Or maybe it’s because most of transgender people in China live in stealth and the few who have come out are outstanding, popular citizens, such as the famous dancer Jin Xing and the moral model Liu Ting.
I`m very sorry for those who have been killed, and for those who were driven by hatred. I hope one day transgender people won’t have to risk our lives for being true with ourselves and we can be freely who we are without fear.