Archive for the ‘In Remembrance’ Category

“I was born in a bourgeois community and had some of the better things in life, but I found that there were more people starving than there were people eating, more people that didn’t have clothes than did have clothes, and I just happened to be one of the few. So I decided that I wouldn’t stop doing what I’m doing until all those people are free.”

“I believe I’m going to die doing the things I was born to do. I believe I’m going to die high off the people. I believe I’m going to die a revolutionary in the international revolutionary proletarian struggle.”

From the Hampton Institute.

Folks traveled far and wide to pay their last respects to our namesake, Chairman Fred Hampton. Hampton and Mark Clark were assassinated in a coordinated effort by Chicago PD, Cook County SWAT, and the FBI on this day (December 4) in 1969.

Chairman Fred was 21 years old on the day of his death. He died advocating for “international proletarian revolution”:

“We got to face some facts. That the masses are poor, that the masses belong to what you call the lower class, and when I talk about the masses, I’m talking about the white masses, I’m talking about the black masses, and the brown masses, and the yellow masses, too.

We’ve got to face the fact that some people say you fight fire best with fire, but we say you put fire out best with water. We say you don’t fight racism with racism. We’re gonna fight racism with solidarity. We say you don’t fight capitalism with no black capitalism; you fight capitalism with socialism.”

He died advocating for black liberation via working-class emancipation. He died as a champion for all people. It is in his memory that we carry out this struggle.

In solidarity.

#NeverForget
#PeoplesChamp
#ProletarianRevolution
#RealRecognizeReal

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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.

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.

(more…)

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.

Monday, November 20
Transgender Day of Remembrance 2017

Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) 2017

*** This event has been created to raise awareness of this special day. This event has no specific location and can be honored anywhere in the world. Please respond as “Going” to show that you will support this powerful day for the transgender community. *** Check out your city or town for an event.

From GLAAD.org:

Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. You can read more about the Transgender Day of Remembrance below, and find out how you can participate.

Additionally, during the week of November 14-20, individuals and organizations around the country participate in Transgender Awareness Week to help raise the visibility of transgender and gender non-conforming people and address the issues these communities face.

* What is the Transgender Day of Remembrance?
The Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) was started by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. The vigil commemorated all the transgender people lost to violence that year and began an important memorial that has become the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.

“The Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people — sometimes in the most brutal ways possible — it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice.”
– Transgender Day of Remembrance founder Gwendolyn Ann Smith

* How can I participate in the Transgender Day of Remembrance?
Participate in the Transgender Day of Remembrance by attending or organizing a vigil on November 20 to honor all those whose lives were lost to anti-transgender violence that year. Vigils are typically hosted by local transgender advocates or LGBTQ organizations, and held at community centers, parks, places of worship, and other venues.

The vigil often involves reading a list of the names of those who died that year.

Here in Hartford please join the vigil at the Metropolitan Community Church. For more on this vigil go to HERE.

 

The murder of Candace Towns in Macon Georgia marks the 25th reported murder of a trans person in the U.S. in 2017, making it the deadliest year on record for transgender Americans. So far, almost every victim, including Towns, has been a woman of color. Rest in Power Candace we fight on.

In 1999 a small group of LGBTQ folks met at the University of Connecticut with the purpose to go through boxes of archives from Foster Gunnison. Mr. Gunnison was a early gay civil rights pioneer and involved with many of the Homophile movements of the early 1960’s.  In going through these archives, ourstories, stories of before Stonewall and after Stonewall began to emerge. This was the first time that anyone had gone through box after box containing leaflets, minutes of meetings, early planning for actions, newspapers and photograph after photograph. A treasure chest of our people. In 1966 Gunnison was appointed chairman of the Credentials Committee with the job of deciding who should or should not be invited to attend conferences. In 1967 he founded the Institute of Cocial ethics in Hartford Ct. which would maintain the records and archives of the American Homophile Movements, facilitate communications among homophile organizations and handle business for NACHO, ECO and the Christopher Liberation Day Committee. In August 1969, 2 months after Stonewall, radicals within NACHO and ERCHO attacked the respectable approach taken by the homophile organizations and issued the following 12 point program to the movement. This was the beginning of the end of the conservative homophile movement. The Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations, (ERCHO) voted at this time to disband to prevent further take over by what liberals and conservatives saw as a radical element.

The following A Radical Manifesto was among the Gunnison papers.

A RADICAL MANIFESTO
THE HOMOPHILE MOVEMENT MUST BE RADICALIZED!
(August 28, 1969)
l) We see the persecution of homosexuality as part of a general attempt to oppress all minorities and keep them powerless. Our fate is linked with these minorities; if the detention camps are filled tomorrow with blacks, hippies and other radicals, we will not escape that fate, all our attempts to dissociate our- selves from them notwithstanding. A common struggle, however, will bring common triumph.
2) Therefore we declare our support as homosexuals or bisexuals for the struggles of the black, the feminist, the Spanish-American, the Indian, the Hippie, the Young, the Student, and other victims of oppression and prejudice.
3) We call upon these groups to lend us their support and encourage their presence with NACHO and the homophile movement at large.
4) Our enemies, an implacable, repressive governmental system; much of organized religion, business and medicine, will not be moved by appeasement or appeals to reason and justice, but only by power and force.
5) We regard established heterosexual standards of morality as immoral and refuse to condone them by demanding an equality which is merely the common yoke of sexual repression.
6) We declare that homosexuals, as individuals and members of the greater community, must develop homosexual ethics and esthetics independent of, and without reference to, the mores imposed upon heterosexuality.
7) We demand the removal of all restriction on sex between consenting persons of any sex, of any orientation, of any age, anywhere, whether for money or not, and for the removal of all censorship.
8) We call upon the churches to sanction homosexual liaisons when called upon to do so by the parties concerned.
9) We call upon the homophile movement to be more honestly concerned with youth rather than trying to promote a mythical, non-existent “good public image.”
10) The homophile movement must totally reject the insane war in Viet Nam and refuse to encourage complicity in the war and support of the war machine, which may well be turned against us. We oppose any attempts by the movement to obtain security clearances for homosexuals, since these contribute to the war machine.
11) The homophile movement must engage in continuous political struggle on all fronts.
12) We must open the eyes of homosexuals on this continent to the increasingly repressive nature of our society and to the realizations that Chicago may await us tomorrow.

These 12 points when voted on did not pass the convention. Losing to the conservative members the split began to widen between the two groups.

Note: The exhibition Challenging and Changing America: The Struggle for LGBT Civil Rights opened in October 1969 at the Hartford Public Library. This exhibition traveled around the state of Ct. Not only were the archives of Foster Gunison used in this exhibition but archives from Central Connecticut State University in the Equity and Diversity Collection. Most LGBT scholars had thought prior to this exhibition that the Foster Gunison archives were tossed out by his family after his death but our little group sent out the notice via the New York Public Library that the archives were alive and well.

Note: From the papers of Gunnison: Foster Gunnison Jr. declares he is ipposed to the notion that heterosexuality is somehow the “norm” by which all other relationships must be judged. He urges homosexuals to expose themselves for who they are and to aim for “free and open expressions of homosexual affection.” In the name of these goals he calls for radical-militant tactics, including confrontations, street demostrations, blatant and hard-hitting assaults on social institutions, and even welcome, where called for, riots and violence.

This quote rings true today. The more things change.

Word went out in the early days, “All of the oppressed have to unite. The system keeps us all weak by keeping us separate.”… Jim Fouratt, one of the organizers of the Gay Liberation Front.