On Transgender Day of Remembrance
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Each year, faced with the murder of trans people, we are asked to
REMEMBER. We are asked to hold candles and listen to politicians
mouth empty platitudes. We are asked to MOURN. But all our tears
cannot make sense of our pain, all our memories cannot halt the violent
reality of our lives under gender.
Let’s remember: it is this world that makes corpses of the bodies of
trans* people. It is the police, harassing and arresting trans* women. It
is the legal system and prisons, perpetrating the wholesale removal and
imprisonment of gender rebels and other undesirables. It is bourgeois
neighborhood associations that scapegoat trans* women and encourage
police persecution in the service of gentrification and the maintainance
of the capitalist order. It is transphobes and gaybashers committing
daily, interpersonal violence. It is the daily mechinations of class society,
that exclude and exploit trans* people. It is the power of the state, its
regulatory and disciplinary practices that make day-to-day survival a
war for trans* people. It is religion, with its condemnations and life-
destroying morality. It is white supremacy and patriarchy, which do the
work of domination on the bodies of trans* people of color and trans*
feminine people. It is the totality of civilization that is responsible for
each and every trans* death.
Let’s remember: these same mealy-mouthed politicians, these same
rich scum, these same police, mobilize trans* deaths to increase state
power. Politicians and police salivate at the thought of more hate crime
legislation to increase their budgets and expand their legal parameters.
The bourgeois gays and lesbians, who consistently put aside the deaths
of trans* people 364 days of the year in favor of assimilationist goals
like marriage, will trot out their gay politicians to “pay respect to the
dead.” Capital mobilizes to find ways to include the most respectable
trans* people to pull gender rebels into the theater of commodity society.
When those with a stake in the continued functioning of society speak of
trans* deaths, their mouths are filled with corpses.
Let’s remember: wherever there is domination, there is revolt. We do
not want more hate crime legislation. We do not want to assimilate into
patriarchal heterosexual society. We do not want trans* bosses, CEOs,
Senators, and police. We do not want a trans-positive capitalism, a trans-
inclusive military, a trans-friendly state. We want the police out of our
lives. We want the annihilation of all prisons, all courts, all states, all
laws. We want to end marriage, the church, the family, and all other
institutions that maintain patriarchy and property relations. We know
the destruction of gender violence is impossible without the destruction
of civilization. Nothing less than this will satisfy us.
This is not a call to cease crying, to ignore the power of memory, to push
off the pain in our hearts. To do so would be to replicate hard-hearted
militance and masculinist posturing. We want to cry, but we also know
that tears alone will not loosen the death-grip of gender.
Today let’s remember the past and plan for the future. Let’s understand
survival and revolt as inseparable. Let’s refuse the logic of individualism
that prevents our pain from implicating society, and thereby separates us
from our collective agency to fight back. Let’s take solace in the power
of vengeance, in the possibilities that become real only when we are
NO TRANS* ARREST WITHOUT REPRISAL.
NO TRANS* DEATH WITHOUT REVENGE.
Solidarity with those behind bars, those free and fighting, and those
whose lives have been stolen. Against the logic of submission, toward
the destruction of gender. Our remembrance is revolt.
NO TRANS* ARREST
NO TRANS* DEATHWITHOUT REVENGE