Last year I took on running the Transgender Day of Remembrance Webcomics Project. Or rather, I took on the archive, because as was shown the previous year in 2009, even when there is no one actually organising the project, people still independently do it!
This year around I've been caught up in my own drams a bit, and haven't been terribly organised in a lot of things, Webcomic Project included. In a few days - a month before the day, I intend to advertise it in various ways. Hopefully people will still participate, doing a comic or cartoon in their webcomic or their blog to commemorate the day, to increase awareness on why we have such a day. And that's the important thing, because trans people are still people, and we shouldn't be murdered out of hand or diven to suicide for who we are.
For people who are cisgendered, it may not be obvious the sorts of discrimination and pressure one gets when one is trans. At the very least it is an annoyance; at worst it is dangerous or fatal. A few weeks ago I was walking up my street when a voice apparently from nowhere (but I guess by someone hiding behind a window or door) shouts "You, you're that tranny, a man that dresses as a woman!" Well, no, I'm not, they got it wrong. I'm a post-operative trans woman who underwent and concluded her gender transition. In what way am I a man? You might consider me male based on chromosomes but there's more to gender than just that.
And the thing is, that is all based on gossip. I could have been a cisgendered women who had a hysterectomy when I was 13, or a femal human with any number of conditions that affect how hormones operate on the body. Or, I could be anybody at all. But here's someone who hides themselves calling out in public something about someone else, something that they obviously feel entitled to do because they are cisgendered (even though cowardly) and feel priveiledged in being so.And that's not the first time I've had crap like that.
When I first moved into my street I was "sprung" by someone who lived a couple houses down, but had also worked at the Markets where I'd done Tarot readings. Someone who ought to have known better but obviously didn't. So right from the start I had to deal with folk who were reacting to the label they thought I might be, rather than who I am. I have been harassed more than once, had my dog stolen (I got him back) and even had rocks thrown at me. But I dealt with this stuff as best I could, and I'm still living here after all these years.
Yesterday I heard about a hermit who used to live around the corner in Bendigo St. Used to - he moved after someone threw a fire-bomb into his ramshackle house! Tough area? Maybe, though things settle down. And here I am still here because if I moved, it might be no better or worse elsewhere. Is it any wonder that so many of us choose "stealth" over being open about who we are, dealing with other people's shit on top of our own problems. At the very least it is an annoyance; at worst it is dangerous or fatal.
And that's why we need the Day of Remembrance. And with webcomics being a quick and popular form of entertainment, a medium that can reach a wide audience, that's why we need the Webcomic Project. I hope to see new entries this year, carrying on the message.