7th Annual Transgender
Day of Remembrance
November 20th, 2005


Day Of Remembrance
S. Bear Bergman

I’m scrolling and scrolling,
names on my screen keep rolling,
more than I expected to see, hundreds,
too many to count quickly, too many to die so early,
one day before they would have is too early, outrageous,
sentenced to death for being courageous,
living out loud in an age such as this, where every border’s guarded
and marked with gendered piss, this
here is only for us, only for you, what is it mommy?
not now honey, that’s rude — why is it rude? that’s a bad attitude,
that’s what you’ll do? Parents, that’s unworthy of you,
if something’s unusual, let children know what’s different,
buy him a tutu - let that be the end of it, let them grow
unencumbered by expectation, there’s all kinds of situations,
gender, race, ethnic variations, none of them cut or dried,
no lie,
cause otherwise, we get “boys don’t cry”,
we tell our boys not to cry, they swallow the tears, the fears,
they erode every other feeling until it explodes,
looking like Gwen in a shallow grave by the road,
like Marsha being fished out whole,
looking like Brandon full of anger’s holes. We won’t accept this,
the idea is ludicrous, you want to kill a kid
because he wants to wear a dress?
We will not go gently, not into any night or memory,
we’re here today remember our family, taken too early,
I hope they come back to haunt their killers fully,
inhabit their uncertainty, give them their own inescapable
enemy, and for those of us still alive, stand up!
stand up and shout,
stand up and be what it’s about,
be the change you want to see in the world,
live like a flag unfurled,
be heard,
today we are here to remember, today we are peaceful
in honor, today we are heard together,
but tomorrow this event’s a lesson to miscreants, anyone with ill intent,
our spirit unbreakable, a lot at stake,
our numbers unmistakable, proclaiming,
I’m here with my tribe,
this family’s my wealth,
and I would die with them
before I would live by myself.

Permission to post this poem has been provided courtesy of the author, for use at Day of Remembrance events. Contact the author for any uses beyond Day of Remembrance.

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