Being the parent of a Transgender Child on Transgender Day of Remembrance

As parents of transgender young people, the "Transgender Day of Remembrance" is always a moving, but also frightening, event that hits way too close to home.  It honors the transgender people who have been victims of senseless violence - who were killed simply because of who they are.  And while this event is important for honoring those we lost and raising awareness - wouldn't it be great if we didn't have to do this every year?  If we didn't have to worry about the safety of our children who are just trying to live happy and authentic lives like everybody else?  But the statistics about transgender Americans aren't giving us much hope. A recent survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality showed that 46% of transgender people had been verbally harassed, with nearly one in ten being physically attacked in the past year. Almost a third were fired, denied a promotion, or mistreated by coworkers. Unemployment rates were three times higher than the U.S. population. And, more than 25% were living in poverty. Even more unsettling, in their lifetime, nearly one third of respondents had experienced homelessness, close to half had been sexually assaulted, and 40% had attempted suicide. Part of the reason the transgender community is more vulnerable than the general population is because in many places - including Arizona - they don't have equal protections under the law so they have no recourse for when they are targeted simply for being transgender.  When we imagine a future for our children, we want them to be able to live, work, and participate in community life wherever they choose, without restrictions. It’s every parent’s dream to see their kids grow up to be healthy and happy adults, and we know that Arizona has some work to do before we stop worrying about the future of our transgender kids.  Let's turn this Day of Remembrance into action.  If you, like us, wish we did not have to have remembrance events at all, we encourage you to write to our Governor and our Legislature and ask them to update our laws so that transgender Arizonans have the same protections as everyone else.

 

Rev. Tamira Burns 
Marie Green 
Robert and Ruffin Chevaleau 
Melinda Koenig, Psy.D. and Steven Koenig, M.D. 
Dennis and Janine Skinner
Cherise and Arick Basques 
Jose and Lizette Trujillo 
Christiane Nieuwsma 
Duane Nieuwsma 
Chelsa and Andrew Morrison 
Amanda Westphal 
Katie Fizz 
Shawn and Angie Waite