August 13th, 2015 — Reflection and Inspiration

I have been reading a lot of tragic news articles about the killings of transgender women, especially transgender women of color.  In the United States, since the beginning of 2015, there have been at least 12 reported killings of transgender women– 9 of them against women of color.  It is very hard to find any light at the end of that tunnel after reading these stories and even more difficult to find inspiration in the face of senseless murders and horrible tragedies.  Never mind the fact that so many transgender women are contemplating suicide and face incredible hatred and discrimination and harassment from almost every corner of life.

As a transgender woman myself, approaching my 40th birthday pretty soon, I pay very close attention to my environment and the people I am with even though I am supposedly in the very liberal and progressive state of Connecticut.  No matter where you are, there is always room for hatred and persecution and violence it seems.

My strength though is in the fact that God punishes the wicked in heart and looks out for those in need and those most vulnerable.  The meek and persecuted will find treasures in heaven and be blessed.  Love will be rewarded.  It may be hard to find rewards in a present day where it seems there is danger around every corner, but G0d’s plan does not include rewarding murderers and selfish acts of violence against innocent people.  There will come a time of divine judgment and we can be assured that these acts against the transgender community will not go unnoticed.

I find more relevant inspiration in seeing just how visible and how powerful we are as a community!  Strength can be found in numbers and in raising our voices and raising awareness to this violence and hatred.  It does not take a celebrity like a Laverne Cox or a Caitlyn Jenner to raise voices or to raise awareness– it helps, of course– but for many of us who aren’t celebrities or athlete celebrities, we have to band together as sisters and support each other and start networking and informing our allies that the threats against transgender women– as well as transgender men I might add– are very real.

There are many transgender hotlines that are toll-free as well to support those who are depressed, feeling overwhelmed by their situations and circumstances, who are contemplating suicide.  There are Facebook groups for support as well and the efforts of many LGBT community groups as well.  There is strength in numbers and it is time to rally some of these numbers if not all of them and start to demand equal rights and more protections against violence and discrimination specifically targeting our community.  There has to be a way to defend ourselves and protect ourselves that doesn’t involve stooping down to the level of a murderer or vigilante.

God will watch over us– but He has always empowered us to use our smarts and talents and gifts to spread the word and gather together.  The more eyes and ears that are attentive to these threats, the better!

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About Rachel Conlin McLeod

Transgender activist, Christian at First Baptist Church in Willimantic, Connecticut. B.A. in History and Social Sciences, B.A. in Sociology Freelance writer, tutor, research assistant Loves hockey, ballet, women's gymnastics, and Bible studies.
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