A Transgender Day of Remembrance
Two days before Thanksgiving, a day of feasting, coming together and general appreciation, a
day of acceptance, good will and good football, Guerneville will respectfully be paying homage to a widely misunderstood slice of humanity.
The “T” in LGBT, represents a state of gender identity, which since 1965 has been labeled “transgender”, and for the most part (as Rodney Dangerfield would put it), they “don’t get no respect.”
Coined by Columbia University psychiatrist John F. Oliven, the general term applies to people, behaviors and groups whose lifestyles tend to vary from culturally conventional gender roles and as a result have been stigmatized, ostracized and otherwise mistreated for their desire to be themselves.
And so Tuesday, November 20 has been dubbed a Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day on which to memorialize those who have been killed as a result of transphobia.
The event, organized by Novice Sister Lucille “Has” Balls (Charity C. Hart) of the Russian River Sisters, is being convened to remember those who have lost their lives due to the ignorance and scorn of a society which too often doesn’t understand how difficult it is to be counted as a member of the transgender community.
Says Novice Sister Lucille Has Balls, “transgendered people should have the opportunity to
live life to the fullest without hate (transphobia) or judgment, and this remembrance is for those who have perished by their own hand or through the violence of others.”
The event will get rolling at Guerneville’s Sonoma Nesting Company at 6 p.m. with a performance by Cazadero resident Gwen “Sugar Mama” Avery, recognized as one of the finest blues artists west of the Volga, followed by Novice Sister Lucille who will share her real-life experiences as a transgender person, and a remembrance of Sister Mariposa Flutterby of the Russian River Sisters.
As people arrive, they will be handed candles and slips of paper on which they may write the names of those who lost their lives during the previous year.
Among the speakers will be Grace De La Torre, who will talk about what it’s like to be the parent of a transgender youth. and Kristin Lyseggen, Norwegian author and photographer,
who will have several of her photos on display, and will read from her upcoming book, The Boy Who Wasn’t a Lesbian.
With lit candles, the attendees will walk to the R3 Hotel on Fourth and Mill Streets where Sister Sara Femme Fatale will perform a blessing and the transgender flag will be raised followed by poetry read by Jasmine De la Torre.
After the reading, participants are invited to Whitetail Winebar, 16230 Main Street, where photographer Chloe Meynier will be on hand to discuss her photographic works (on display through November 30) which deal with gender identity issues.
Although all the events are free, those who wish to donate to Transgender North Bay may do so.
For more information about Transgender Day of Remembrance, visit the Russian River Sisters’ website: www.rrsisters.org or contact Novice Sister Lucille via: firstname.lastname@example.org