This essay is very informative, beautiful, well written and the facts that Ms. Metcalfe has gathered sure to make you cry and get angry. There are links, videos and names that she has gathered for our community to be well informed. We thank Anna-Jayne Metcalfe for permission to link to her article and publish here on furbirdsqueerly. Too many dead, far to many.

She begins the essay this way:

Remembering our dead never gets any easier

by Anna Jayne Metcalfe

Her name was Gwen, but I never knew her.
It was late October 2002, and I was about to leave the family home for the last time. My transition was approaching, my marriage disintegrating and my wife wanted me to move out. I didn’t have anywhere to go, but fortunately a good friend (thanks Tracey!) let me stay on her sofa until I found a place to rent.
That proved to be tricky as I was then quite visibly trans and still had to present as male at work until January. Awareness of trans people among the general public was pretty poor at the time, and when I enquired about places to rent I found that landlords just wouldn’t get back to me. As a result, I didn’t find a new home until December 2002, and even then the landlord was reluctant to consider meeting me (she’d never met a trans person before) until Tracey managed to talk her round over the phone.
Fortunately, once I met my prospective landlord, she was fine (the roadblock was getting past the initial phone enquiry) and that shared house proved to be the safe space I needed for the next two years while I got all of the medical stuff out of the way. I was privileged, and I was lucky.
But I digress. Until late that October I’d never even heard of the Transgender day of Remembrance….and then one day I read about what had happened to Gwen Araujo in Nevada on 4th October 2002 (just a few weeks before I moved out of the family home) and everything changed.

To read the rest of the essay go to HERE.

A few excerpts from the article:

After listing our dead from 2009 to 2017 (the numbers just grow and grow) Ms Metcalfe has this to say:

“How much of that increase is due to improved communication and reporting, the increasing visibility of trans people (remember that as we get more visible the people who want us dead can see more of us too) or other factors, I can’t say. What I can say is that every year, we seem to have more lost souls to mourn and remember.

“Given all this, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the weeks leading up to 20th November are a painful time of year for many trans folks. It’s the time when we not only mourn our dead, but are forcibly reminded of our own vulnerability — and of the fact that there are many people in this world even today who would like nothing better than to torture, mutilate and kill us.
Hard though that is to endure, it is also an opportunity to say “We remember them. We are here, and we refuse to be afraid of those who hate us”.

and this

“Hard though that is to endure, it is also an opportunity to say “We remember them. We are here, and we refuse to be afraid of those who hate us”.

To find a Transgender Day of Remembrance Day event near you go to HERE. This is an excellent resource page.

 

 

 

 

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as we have in years past.

National Day of Mourning
Since 1970, Native Americans and our supporters have gathered at noon on Cole’s Hill in Plymouth to commemorate a National Day of Mourning on the US thanksgiving holiday. Many Native Americans do not celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims and other European settlers. Thanksgiving day is a reminder of the genocide of millions of Native people, the theft of Native lands, and the relentless assault on Native culture. Participants in National Day of Mourning honor Native ancestors and the struggles of Native peoples to survive today. It is a day of remembrance and spiritual connection as well as a protest of the racism and oppression which Native Americans continue to experience.

48th National Day of Mourning: November 23, 2017
12:00 noon
Coles Hill Plymouth, MA

for any and all information you will need about this day go to HERE.

Please check out Our Facebook National Day of Mourning EVENT page: 48th National Day of Mourning 2017

Thanksgiving: A National Day of Mourning for Indians, 1998

by Moonanum James and Mahtowin Munro

Every year since 1970, United American Indians of New England have organized the National Day of Mourning observance in Plymouth at noon on Thanksgiving Day. Every year, hundreds of Native people and our supporters from all four directions join us. Every year, including this year, Native people from throughout the Americas will speak the truth about our history and about current issues and struggles we are involved in.

Why do hundreds of people stand out in the cold rather than sit home eating turkey and watching football? Do we have something against a harvest festival?

Of course not. But Thanksgiving in this country — and in particular in Plymouth –is much more than a harvest home festival. It is a celebration of the pilgrim mythology.

According to this mythology, the pilgrims arrived, the Native people fed them and welcomed them, the Indians promptly faded into the background, and everyone lived happily ever after.

The truth is a sharp contrast to that mythology.

The pilgrims are glorified and mythologized because the circumstances of the first English-speaking colony in Jamestown were frankly too ugly (for example, they turned to cannibalism to survive) to hold up as an effective national myth. The pilgrims did not find an empty land any more than Columbus “discovered” anything. Every inch of this land is Indian land. The pilgrims (who did not even call themselves pilgrims) did not come here seeking religious freedom; they already had that in Holland. They came here as part of a commercial venture. They introduced sexism, racism, anti-lesbian and gay bigotry, jails, and the class system to these shores. One of the very first things they did when they arrived on Cape Cod — before they even made it to Plymouth — was to rob Wampanoag graves at Corn Hill and steal as much of the Indians’ winter provisions of corn and beans as they were able to carry. They were no better than any other group of Europeans when it came to their treatment of the Indigenous peoples here. And no, they did not even land at that sacred shrine called Plymouth Rock, a monument to racism and oppression which we are proud to say we buried in 1995.

The first official “Day of Thanksgiving” was proclaimed in 1637 by Governor Winthrop. He did so to celebrate the safe return of men from the Massachusetts Bay Colony who had gone to Mystic, Connecticut to participate in the massacre of over 700 Pequot women, children, and men.

About the only true thing in the whole mythology is that these pitiful European strangers would not have survived their first several years in “New England” were it not for the aid of Wampanoag people. What Native people got in return for this help was genocide, theft of our lands, and never-ending repression. We are treated either as quaint relics from the past, or are, to most people, virtually invisible.

When we dare to stand up for our rights, we are considered unreasonable. When we speak the truth about the history of the European invasion, we are often told to “go back where we came from.” Our roots are right here. They do not extend across any ocean.

National Day of Mourning began in 1970 when a Wampanoag man, Wamsutta Frank James, was asked to speak at a state dinner celebrating the 350th anniversary of the pilgrim landing. He refused to speak false words in praise of the white man for bringing civilization to us poor heathens. Native people from throughout the Americas came to Plymouth, where they mourned their forebears who had been sold into slavery, burned alive, massacred, cheated, and mistreated since the arrival of the Pilgrims in 1620.

But the commemoration of National Day of Mourning goes far beyond the circumstances of 1970.

Can we give thanks as we remember Native political prisoner Leonard Peltier, who was framed up by the FBI and has been falsely imprisoned since 1976? Despite mountains of evidence exonerating Peltier and the proven misconduct of federal prosecutors and the FBI, Peltier has been denied a new trial. Bill Clinton apparently does not feel that particular pain and has refused to grant clemency to this innocent man.

To Native people, the case of Peltier is one more ordeal in a litany of wrongdoings committed by the U.S. government against us. While the media in New England present images of the “Pequot miracle” in Connecticut, the vast majority of Native people continue to live in the most abysmal poverty.

Can we give thanks for the fact that, on many reservations, unemployment rates surpass fifty percent? Our life expectancies are much lower, our infant mortality and teen suicide rates much higher, than those of white Americans. Racist stereotypes of Native people, such as those perpetuated by the Cleveland Indians, the Atlanta Braves, and countless local and national sports teams, persist. Every single one of the more than 350 treaties that Native nations signed has been broken by the U.S. government. The bipartisan budget cuts have severely reduced educational opportunities for Native youth and the development of new housing on reservations, and have caused cause deadly cutbacks in health-care and other necessary services.

Read the rest of this entry »

Win a Trip to Day for Night, Houston’s Experiential Art and Music Festival
December 15–17, 2017 / Houston, Texas

Hyperallegic is partnering with Listings Project to give away a trip to Day for Night in Houston, including two VIP tickets, plus airfare and hotel.

Through music and art, Day for Night explores the possibilities of light, space, and sound. With headlining musicians performing alongside immersive digital artworks, Day for Night creates a heightened sensorial experience that blurs boundaries between performance and installation. We were there last year, and we can’t wait to go again.

The lineup of this year’s festival includes:

  • Music by: Nine Inch Nails, Thom Yoke, Solange, Justice, St. Vincent, Tyler, the Creator, James Blake, and more
  • Artworks from: Ryoji Ikeda, Matthew Schreiber, Conditional Studio, Processing Foundation, James Clar, and Felice d’Edtienne d’Orves
  • Talks by: Chelsea Manning, Nadya from Pussy Riot, Laurie Anderson, Lauren McCarthy & more

For the full lineup, visit dayfornight.io.

Prize includes flight, hotel, and VIP passes to Day for Night for two people. Hotel accommodations include three nights at the Hilton Americas-Houston. Flights to be awarded with two $500 Visa gift cards. Enter by 12/1/17.

 

We Will Rise!

Posted: November 15, 2017 in Call to Action, for your reflection

Concept by Milo Milo artwork by Gammy Alvarez.

The inscription on the machete reads “”Nosotros queremos la libertad, nuestros machetes nos la darán”

 

Original 1868 revolutionary of La Borinqueña version by Lola Rodríguez de Tió

¡Despierta, borinqueño
que han dado la señal!
¡Despierta de ese sueño
que es hora de luchar!
A ese llamar patriótico
¿no arde tu corazón?
¡Ven! Nos será simpático
el ruido del cañón.
Mira, ya el cubano
libre será;
le dará el machete
su libertad…
le dará el machete
su libertad.
Ya el tambor guerrero
dice en su son,
que es la manigua el sitio,
el sitio de la reunión,
de la reunión…
de la reunión.
El Grito de Lares
se ha de repetir,
y entonces sabremos
vencer o morir.
Bellísima Borinquén,
a Cuba hay que seguir;
tú tienes bravos hijos
que quieren combatir.
ya por más tiempo impávido
no podemos estar,
ya no queremos, tímidos
dejarnos subyugar.
Nosotros queremos
ser libre ya,
y nuestro machete
afilado está.
y nuestro machete
afilado está.
¿Por qué, entonces, nosotros
hemos de estar,
tan dormidos y sordos
y sordos a esa señal?
a esa señal, a esa señal?
No hay que temer, riqueños
al ruido del cañón,
que salvar a la patria
es deber del corazón!
ya no queremos déspotas,
caiga el tirano ya,
las mujeres indómitas
también sabrán luchar.
Nosotros queremos
la libertad,
y nuestros machetes
nos la darán…
y nuestro machete
nos la dará…
Vámonos, borinqueños,
vámonos ya,
que nos espera ansiosa,
ansiosa la libertad.
¡La libertad, la libertad!
Arise, boricua!
The call to arms has sounded!
Awake from the slumber,
it is time to fight!
Doesn’t this patriotic
call set your heart alight?
Come! We are in tune with
the roar of the cannon.
Come, Come, the Cuban will
soon be freed;
the machete will give him
his justice,
the machete will give him
his liberty.
Now the drums of war
speak with their music,
that the jungle is the place,
the meeting place.
The meeting…
The meeting…
The Cry of Lares
must be repeated,
and then we will know:
victory or death.
Beautiful Borinquén
must follow Cuba;
you have brave sons
who wish to fight.
Now, no longer can
we be unmoved;
now we do not want timidly
to let them subjugate us.
We want to be free now,
and our machete
has been sharpened.
We want to be free now,
and our machete
has been sharpened.
Why, then,
have we been
so sleepy and deaf
to the call?
To the call, to the call?
There is no need to fear,
Ricans, the roar of the cannon;
saving the nation is
the duty of the heart.
We no longer want despots,
tyranny shall fall now;
the unconquerable women also will
know how to fight.
We want freedom,
and our machetes
will give it to us.
We want freedom,
and our machetes
will give it to us.
Come, Boricuas,
come now,
since freedom
awaits us anxiously,
freedom, freedom!

After the cession of the island to the United States, the popular revolutionary lyrics of Lola Rodríguez de Tió were deemed too subversive for official adoption; therefore, a non-confrontational set of lyrics were written in 1903 by Asturias-born Manuel Fernández Juncos. The tune was officially adopted as the Commonwealth’s anthem in 1952 by governor Luis Muñoz Marín, and the words were officially adopted in 1977 by governor Carlos Romero Barceló. Perhaps people will begin to sing this version after experiencing  the US response to the devastation of the island. At the least this version will be sung as capitalist corporations and the wealthy begin to make Puerto Rico their very own playground.  ( 1)

Notes:

(1) Vulture Capitalists Circle Above Puerto Rican Prey. 

Exploiting tragedy heartless Republicans seek to privatize Puerto Rico after Hurrican Maria.

In the aftermath of Katrina real estate mogul Joseph Canizaro said the clearing out caused by Katrina represented some “very big opportunities.” A Republican representative from Baton Rouge said, “We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn’t do it, but God did.”  For more on how the rich benefit from natural disasters go to HERE.

(we republish this post for our new readers in the Hartford area. It was first published this past June.)

You know a lot of removing statues has occurred in our life time. Lenin is gone from most Russian cities, Stalin is no where to be found, Gaddafi’s came tumbling down and his bronze head kicked through the streets, Saddam Hussein met the same fate in Firdos Square Bagdad. Here in amerikkka some in the south are now  facing their racist past and racist present statues of confederate war heroes and war memorials  are falling and have fallen.

Well there is a monument located in our own backyard that some are beginning to question. Ms Elly Jones asked us what we thought about removing it and so we said, okay but tread lightly so we don’t get the intellectual class up in arms again. It seems we are very well capable at pulling off such things. But the truth be told we know that it doesn’t matter what we say or what we write. It doesn’t matter who loves us or hates us, who ignores us or reads our work. We’re going to do it anyway. You know we are going to do it anyway even if even we don’t care all that much for doing it. What’s a few feathers ruffled? In these times.

Perhaps we should re-think as some say our memorial landscapes. Perhaps we should move our memorials into an educational setting. A setting where we all can explore the subject with no holes barred. A setting where our goal is not to sanitize, glorify or deny the past but to reexamine it within the context of a real inclusive history. We like that idea. Hopefully it is spreading in the South and hopefully folks there come to terms with their unsavory past. So let’s take a look however short at a monster of a person who is high up on the pedestal who is responsible for the deaths of millions and who today is glorified by people in this city.

Should Colt go or stay?

As our queer Marxist comrade Eaemaehkiw Thupaq Kesiqnaeh points out: “As indigenists, as revolutionaries, we stand firm in our rejection of all heroes of empire and the distorted histories around them spun by both the forces of the colonial state and its loyal opposition among the so-called left”

Where does the trail of tears lead? Some will say out west but we know that it leads straight to Mr. Colt’s door here in Hartford Ct.. We know that everyone of those faces streaked, that all of the sore feet, those left on the side of the trail to die, the stomachs rumbling for the lack of food, the frozen limbs, the sobs come knocking come calling to tear this statue down. We must take a hard look at our past, move beyond the strong emotional ties to the past glories, we must shake a collective sense of identification with the ruling elite, (a trick of the ruling class for sure) the 1 % of the past as they are not our friend now and were not our friend back then. Free ourselves from the chains that the ruling class binds us with no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. Nothing is small or petty in this process. Read the rest of this entry »

Or consider your local LGBTQ groups.

2017 has already seen at least 25 transgender people fatally shot or killed by other violent means in the USA. TRANSRESPECT has complied a list from around the world. 325 reported murders of trans and gender-diverse people between 1 October 2016 and 30 September 2017 . To see the list go to HERE.

We will continue to work toward justice and equality for transgender people, we mourn those we have lost:

Mesha Caldwell, 41, a black transgender woman from Canton, Mississippi, was found shot to death the evening of January 4. The murder is still under investigation and no suspects have been arrested.
Sean Hake, 23, a transgender man in Sharon, Pennsylvania, died after he was shot by police responding to a 911 call from his mother. A friend told WKBN that Sean “had a genuinely good heart and he had struggled with his problems.”
Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow, 28, an American Indian woman who identified as transgender and two-spirit, was found dead in her apartment in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. A suspect, 25-year-old Joshua Rayvon LeClaire, has been arrested and charged with murder and manslaughter in connection with her death.
JoJo Striker, 23, a transgender woman, was found killed in Toledo, Ohio, on February 8. Striker’s mother, Shanda Striker, described her as “funny and entertaining” and said her family loved her deeply.
Tiara Richmond, also known as Keke Collier, 24, was fatally shot in Chicago on the morning of February 21. A transgender woman of color, she was found dead on the same street as two other transgender women that were killed in 2012.
Chyna Doll Dupree, 31, a Black transgender woman, was shot and killed in New Orleans on February 25. Chyna was a much-loved performer in the ballroom community who was visiting friends and family in New Orleans at the time of her death.
Ciara McElveen, 26, a transgender woman of color, was stabbed to death in New Orleans on February 27. McElveen did outreach for the homeless community. As of February 28, 2017, HRC has tracked at least nine murders of transgender people in Louisiana since 2013.
Jaquarrius Holland, 18, was shot to death in Monroe, Louisiana, on February 19. One friend, Chesna Littleberry, told Mic that Holland was “like a younger sister” and had helped her learn to accept herself.
Alphonza Watson, 38, was shot and killed in Baltimore, Maryland, on March 22. Watson’s mother said her daughter was “the sunshine of our family,” a “caring, passionate” person who loved cooking and gardening.
Chay Reed, 28, a transgender woman of color, was shot and killed on April 21 in Miami. Reed’s longtime friend told Mic about their longtime friendship — describing her as someone who was full of life and beloved by many.
Kenneth Bostick, 59, was found with severe injuries on a Manhattan sidewalk, he later died of his injuries. Few details about Bostick’s life have been reported, he is believed to have been homeless at the time he was attacked.*
Sherrell Faulkner, 46, a transgender woman of color died on May 16, of injuries sustained during an attack on November 30, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Police are treating the assault as a homicide. No arrests have been made at this point.
Kenne McFadden, 27, was found in the San Antonio River on April 9. Police believe she was pushed into the river, which runs through downtown San Antonio. A high-school friend of McFadden described her to local media as assertive, charismatic and lovable. No arrests have been made, but police said they have a person of interest in custody.
Kendra Marie Adams, 28, was found in a building that was under construction and had burns on her body on June 13. Police have charged Michael Davis, 45, with Adams’ murder. Adams also went by Josie Berrios, the name used in initial media reports on her death.
Ava Le’Ray Barrin, 17, was shot and killed in Athens, Georgia on June 25 during an altercation in an apartment parking lot. In an online obituary, friends remembered Barrin as a “social butterfly” and an “amazing girl” who “loved to make people laugh.”
Ebony Morgan, 28, was shot multiple times in Lynchburg, Virginia, in the early morning of July 2. Morgan was transferred to a local hospital where she succumbed to her injuries. Authorities have named Kenneth Allen Kelly Jr. as a person of interest in the case.
TeeTee Dangerfield, 32, a Black transgender woman, was shot and killed on July 31 in Atlanta, Georgia. According to the Georgia Voice, Dangerfield “was found with multiple gunshot wounds outside of her vehicle at the South Hampton Estates apartment complex.”
Gwynevere River Song, 26, was shot and killed in Waxahachie, Texas, on August 12. According to their Facebook profile, they identified as “femandrogyne” and a member of the bisexual community.
Kiwi Herring, 30, was killed during an altercation with police on August 22 during an altercation with her neighbor. Relatives told Huffpost the neighbor was transphobic and that excessive force by police led to her death.
Kashmire Nazier Redd, 28, was fatally stabbed by his partner on September 5. A friend wrote on Facebook “[Kashmire] loved hard and just wanted to be loved and [accepted].”
Derricka Banner, 26, was found shot to death in Charlotte, North Carolina on September 12. Friends describe Banner as a “playful spirit” and “go-getter” who enjoyed life.
Scout Schultz, 21, was shot and killed by Georgia Tech campus police on September 16. The GT Progressive Student Alliance, a progressive student advocacy group on campus, called Schultz an “incredible, inspirational member of our community and a constant fighter for human rights.”
Ally Steinfeld, 17, was stabbed to death in Missouri in early September. Three people have been charged in her murder. Steinfeld’s family said Ally “sometimes” identified as female on social media.
Stephanie Montez, 47, was brutally murdered near Robstown, Texas. Montez’s longtime friend, Brittany Ramirez, described her as “one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet.”
Candace Towns, 30, a transgender woman who was found shot to death in Georgia. Town’s friend, Malaysa Monroe, remembers Towns’ generosity. “If I needed anything she would give it to me. She would give me the clothes off her back,” Monroe said.