Ciara McElveen, New Orleans, Louisiana
Chyna Gibson, New Orleans, Louisiana
Jaquarrius Holland, Monroe, Louisiana
Keke Collier (Tiara Richmond), Chicago, Illinois
Mesha Caldwell, Canton, Mississippi
Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Jojo Striker, Toledo, Ohio
Remember their names, and may their memories always be blessings to all who knew them.
To some reading this, my words will seem very far away, very distant from your own experience, as statistically there are more people who believe Elvis Presley is still alive than believe they've met a transperson. As someone with dear friends who are trans, as someone with family members who are trans, and as someone who does everything to oppose dualism and binary thinking, I do not have that luxury, nor would I want it.
With so much pain, confusion, and suffering in 2017, coupled with the polarization of communities, as well as the dissolving of friendships and familial bonds due the, not new, but newly permission-given attitudes of polarized division, unashamed bigotry, and overt racism, I would like to reaffirm mine and our grove's commitment to inclusivity, understanding, diversity, tolerance, and sacred hospitality, as well as standing up against individuals and groups who would perpetuate fear, division, and hate.
Who will make this commitment with me?
Will it be you?
Gods be good, it will.