Saturday, November 20, 2010

Trans Day of Remembrance Ride Reportback

The Trans Day of Remembrance Bike Ride was powerful, for me. It was amazing to see 15 folks gather together in the cold and pouring rain to ride in solidarity on a night like this. A number of folks wanted to join us just for the ride, as a place to be with each other, on a day that is so hard for our community. It felt that space was created for folks to come together doing something we love, which is sometimes the most important action we can take.

We shortened the ride cuz of the weather, but even doing the loop around the lake felt deep- all of us on bikes, passing out flyers to folks to raise awareness about the meaning of this day, and how violence against trans people is related to police violence and its affects on community here in oakland.

We ended at the Alameda County Transgender Day of Remembrance Ceremony, where some of us went in. I personally had a lot of mixed feelings being there- it is always so hard to hear the names of everyone we have lost to violence in a year, to hold them in my heart, and have space to grieve. I am grateful to everyone who held the space together, and I would like to have a more intimate gathering next year where we can have more room to grieve- I think the event was trying to strike a balance of honoring loss while celebrating life, but it is a delicate balance, and there is so much pain in how violently so many lives are taken from our community each year...

A lot of folks who spoke at the ceremony kept saying there should be an annual event where we get together and celebrate trans community, instead of only gathering when we lose each other. We plan on organizing a ride next month that will be a big queer celebration... cuz we do need it, so much. We will let you know for sure, and if you want to plan it with us, please send us an email:

Below is the language we used in creating this event, written by Anna Martine Whitehead. Thank you for reading:

The violent system that killed Derrick Jones, Fred Collins, and Oscar Grant is the same system that makes transgender lives expendable. Violently incompetent police, under-resourced schools that don't protect our young people against bullying, and an (in)justice system that upholds violence against trans people - through arguments like the "gay panic defense" - work together to decimate and isolate our communities.

We bike on thi
s day to acknowledge that trans lives - all lives - matter. We are here to celebrate being together, to reflect on the past year, and to honor those taken from us. We bike on this day against system that says our lives do not have value. We bike on this day to say: All Lives Matter.

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