The Irresistible Temptation:Exploiting Our Dead

in Featured/Opinion

Last year I wrote Photo Ops, Donations, And The Selling of Our Dead, when the Human Rights Campaign tried to hijack the Washington D.C. Transgender Day of Remembrance.

To refresh your memory, the founder of the Transgender Day of Remembrance, Gwen Smith, said of the day:

“The Transgender Day of Remembrance serves several purposes. It raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgendered people, an action that current media doesn’t perform. Day of Remembrance publicly mourns and honors the lives of our brothers and sisters who might otherwise be forgotten. Through the vigil, we express love and respect for our people in the face of national indifference and hatred. Day of Remembrance reminds non-transgender people that we are their sons, daughters, parents, friends and lovers. Day of Remembrance gives our allies a chance to step forward with us and stand in vigil, memorializing those of us who’ve died by anti-transgender violence.”

Apparently that scope isn’t wide enough for the folks in Orlando, Florida. They’ve set out to expand the day to Transgender Day  Of Remembrance and Inspiration. Part of that “inspiration” is to fundraise for the Orlando Youth Alliance.  I’m sure it’s an oversight, but the Orlando Youth Alliance’s website asks:

  • Are you curious about your sexuality?
  • Are you having problems dealing with the issues of your sexuality?

and states that:

Almost every GLBTQ youth has questions about their sexuality at some point in their life.

and their donation page, a goal of their fundraising efforts is to help build a:

24 hr safe house for those who have been kicked out of their homes due to their
sexuality.

Transgender children generally are kicked out of their homes for their gender presentation, not their sexuality.

Another ironic aspect is that one of the sponsors is Tri-ess.  Tri-ess describes itself as:

an educational, social and support group for heterosexual crossdressers, their partners, the spouses of married crossdressers and their families.

One only needs to look as far as their email list descriptions to get an idea of how transsexuals are viewed within Tri-ess:

Those of you with strong, militant transsexual attachments, please move on. This list is not for you. For the purposes of this list, those with “militant transsexual attachments” are defined as those who actively promote transsexualism.

Most of the people on the TDOR list are transsexuals (or people living full time in their chosen gender), not crossdressers.

The Day of Remembrance isn’t a day for inspiration or fundraising. It’s a solemn day that should be revered as such. It’s not a day to sell our dead for money or motivation.

Marti Abernathey is the founder of the Transadvocate and the previous managing editor. Abernathey has worn many different hats, including that of podcaster, activist, and radiologic technologist. She's been a part of various internet radio ventures such as TSR Live!, The T-Party, and The Radical Trannies, TransFM, and Sodium Pentathol Sunday. As an advocate she's previously been involved with the Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance, Rock Indiana Campaign for Equality, and the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition. She's taken vital roles as a grass roots community organizer in The Indianapolis Tax Day Protest (2003), The Indy Pride HRC Protest (2004), Transgender Day of Remembrance (2004), Indiana's Witch Hunt (2005), and the Rally At The Statehouse (the largest ever GLBT protest in Indiana - 3/2005). In 2008 she was a delegate from Indiana to the Democratic National Convention and a member of Barack Obama's LGBT Steering and Policy Committee.

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