November 20th was officially the International Transgender Day of Remembrance, but most concerned groups in New Zealand are choosing to observe it today, Tuesday the 29th. Later today in Wellington, around 6pm, The Queer Avengers will gather in Civic Square to hold a candlelight vigil in honor of those who have lost their lives to transphobic violence.
The Queer Avengers have made it their mission to end institutionalized homophobia and transphobia, to advocating for greater protection in schools, health care facilities and places of work, and to change society for the better, so that people don’t have to live in fear of this happening to themselves or the ones that they love.
On a more personal but not entirely unrelated note, I have just completed my first ever entry in the National Novel Writing Month competition. The premise is an alternate-history sci-fi account of the invective and discriminatory practices meted out on transgender individuals by radical feminists, set in a non-governmental organization based on the Moon. It was all rather ambitious and complex in concept for my first novel, but I did have some fun writing it, and I think there are at least a few parts that are interesting, moving or entertaining.
I have nine friends currently beta-reading my manuscript, including three who identify as transgender whom I hope will call me out on issues of accurate and authentic portrayal, two who work in the sciences who I hope won’t judge me too harshly for being a layperson, and one who works for an NGO who I already consulted while writing.
With December almost upon us, most people will be concerned with the weather turning colder (if you live in the Northern Hemisphere), or with getting everything ready for Christmas and other contemporaneous holidays. I hope anyone reading this takes a moment to think of all the people they care about, and to let them know, if they don’t already, that they are glad to have them in their lives. And if you have lost someone, tragically and too soon, I am sorry for your loss, and I wish you peace and healing.
“Bigotry exacts its toll in flesh and blood. And left unchecked and unchallenged, prejudices create a poisonous climate for us all. Each of us has a stake in the demand that every human being has a right to a job, to shelter, to health care, to dignity, to respect.”
– Leslie Feinberg