“Over the years, the now-international project has catalogued the loss of hundreds of trans and gender-nonconforming people — individuals who, within their often short lifetimes, were beloved family members, friends, and members of their communities — who faced attackers wielding slurs, weapons, and fists. Some were killed by intimate partners, some by strangers, while still others were children slain by parents who were intolerant of their gender variance.
And while transgender people, along with friends, loved ones, family, and allies, somberly remember those killed because of antitrans violence today, we also remember that there are still countless instances of transphobic acts occurring each year that do not end in death — many of which are never reported to media or authorities. Likewise, murders not covered by the media tend to become more difficult to communally memorialize on this day.
So, once again, we ask that you draw your attention to those whose deaths we mourn, not simply to cause sadness, but to raise awareness of the need for a world in which such constant mourning is never requisite again.”
Writing is a conscious attempt by the human to participate in his fate, that ‘story’ written from birth to death. Casting spells, exorcizing, whistling in the dark, inventing the textures and the structures of consciousness, keeping a backdoor open to memory, getting to know who and what we are, both reflecting what is and shaping the new. Memory is nothing but dead time, but death seeds the soil: from forgetting new shapes sprout.
For writing is a means to transformation: using words and their interacting combinations — the meanings, the feel, the sounds and the shadows — to broaden our scope of apprehending and understanding ourselves and others, and in the process creating new spaces and references. Sometimes looking down into hell.
Breyten Breytenbach, from “I Sit Here,”
Intimate Stranger (Archipelago Books, 2009)