Birthdays, Anniversaries, and TDOR

I love birthdays, especially mine. Not because of doing anything special for them, although that's nice, but because it means I survived another year, which is a big deal to me as someone who has been suicidal. It's also a personal New Year's, a time for me to take stock. And in the same week, we have the anniversary of our domestic partnership. So that's cool, too. It's been a busy year. Just before my birthday last year, I got on Abilify, which has been a miracle for me. It's just massively changed my life. This summer, I went back to school, planning on a certificate in Database Administration and Design. I'm debating whether I want to be a database admin or a backend dev with a focus on database-driven projects. We'll see. I'm getting straight A's in my classes, with the help of Adderall, and I'm enjoying them as well. I got a job tutoring. Before I started school, I spent time studying both SQL and Ruby. I started writing the Book of the Downward Labyrinth, my tradition's Book of the Dead, with instructions both for the living and the Dead. I started Rewriting Death, where I blog about the process of writing that book. I've continued to write the Litany. I started the Polytheist Death Guild, and began attending a Death Cafe. I made some awesome dolls. I went to my first professional conference for tech, SeaGL, and had an interesting and pleasant time. Despite all the shittiness of 2016, it's been the best year I've had since the restaurant closed. It's the year I started to take back my life. And I feel good about that. But casting a bit of a shadow over both birthday (19th) and anniversary (14th) is the 20th, which is the Transgender Day of Remembrance. A day set aside every year to remember all the trans people who have been murdered in the previous 365 days. This year the total was 259. That we know of. Every year, the list gets longer. Some of that is that we hear about more of them, but some does genuinely seem to be that the numbers are getting higher. I've seen it said that murder is the #1 top cause of death of trans women, although I haven't been able to find a source for that, and am suspicious of it. Suicide is also a contender, especially for trans people who can't get access to transition treatments. Last year, I wrote some verses of the Litany for TDOR and the Trans Rite of Ancestor Elevation. Here they are again: I pray to the Murdered Trans Women 
Slaughtered for their status Who go without justice or vengeance 
May you be uplifted I pray to the Murdered Trans Women I pray to the Murdered Trans Men Slain for your difference 
Who go without vengeance or justice 
May you be uplifted I pray to the Murdered Trans Men I pray to the Murdered Genderqueer Folk And, or, neither Killed still for difference May you be uplifted I pray to the Murdered Genderqueer Folk I pray to the Trans Suicides 
You who died in despair Of a world that hated you 
May you be uplifted I pray to the Trans Suicides I pray to the Trans Activist Dead You who stood up and said No! 
You who insisted that you, too, are human 
May you be uplifted 
I pray to the Trans Activist Dead I pray to the Trans Elders 
You who held on in times before And lived long enough to pass on wisdom 
May you be uplifted 
I pray to the Trans Elders I pray to the Trans Youth So young to face the hatred in this world 
But so strong to live as long as you did 
May you be uplifted 
I pray to the Trans Youth I pray to the Trans People of Color Doubly oppressed and doubly hated 
Shining and beautiful and wonderful 
May you be uplifted I pray to the Trans People of Color I pray to the Trans Dead 
Whether you were warriors Or only wanted to live your lives 
May you be uplifted I pray to the Trans Dead...

Trans Rite of Ancestor Elevation, Day of Remembrance

I pray to the Trans Dead Whether you were warriors Or only wanted to live your lives May you be uplifted I pray to the Trans Dead I pray to Sylvia Rivera Honored activist, shining STAR Fighter in the Stonewall Riots May you be uplifted I pray to Sylvia Rivera And now the list of names of those trans people we know about who were murdered in the past year. Keyshia Blige (33 years old) Cause of death: Shooting Location of death: Aurora, Illinois, USA Date of death: March 7th, 2015 Tamara Dominguez (36 years old) Cause of death: repeatedly run over by vehicle Location of death: Kansas City, Missouri, USA Date of death: August 15th, 2015 Kandis Capri (35 years old) Cause of death: shooting Location of death: Phoenix, Arizona, USA Date of death: August 11th, 2015 Amber Monroe (20 years old) Cause of death:gunshot Location of death:Detroit, Michigan, USA Date of death: August 8th, 2015 Ashton O'Hara (25 years old) Cause of death: Stabbed to death, ran over by vehicle Location of death: Detroit, Michigan, USA Date of death: July 14th, 2015 Shade Schuler (22 years old) Cause of death: unknown, found dead in a field. Location of death: Dallas, Texas, USA Date of death: July 29th, 2015 K.C. Haggard (66 years old) Cause of death: multiple stab wounds Location of death: Fresno, California, USA Date of death: July 24th, 2015 India Clarke (22 years old) Cause of death: gunshot to the head and arm Location of death: Tampa, Florida, USA Date of death: July 21st, 2015 Mercedes Williamson (17 years old) Cause of death: Beaten to death Location of death: Rocky Creek, Alabama, USA Date of death: May 30th, 2015 Penny Proud (21 years old) Cause of death: shooting Location of death: Tremé, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA Date of death: February 10th, 2015 Taja Gabrielle DeJesus (36 years old) Cause of death: multiple stab wounds Location of death: San Francisco, USA Date of death: Feburary 8th, 2015 Bri Golec (22 years old) Cause of death: stabbed to death Location of death: Akron, Ohio, USA Date of death: February 13th, 2015 Lamia Beard (30 years old) Cause of death: shooting Location of death: Norfolk, Virginia, USA Date of death: January 17th, 2015 Papi Edwards (20 years old) Cause of death: shooting Location of death: Louisville, Kentucky, USA Date of death: January 9th, 2015 Nephi Luthers (20 years old) Cause of death: shooting Location of death: Georgetown, Guyana Date of death: July 21st, 2015 Diosvany Muñoz Robaina (24 years old) Cause of death: stoning Location of death: Pinar del Río, Cuba Date of death: April 26th, 2015 C.N. Alves de Matos Jr (21 years old) Cause of death: stabbed and dismembered Location of death: São Paulo, Brazil Date of death: September 25th, 2015 Unknown (41 years old) Cause of death: severe head and neck trauma Location of death: Alicante, Spain Date of death: July 21th, 2015 L.A. de Souza, (22 years old) Cause of death: found in landfill with knife in neck Location of death: Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil Date of death: September 30th, 2015 Waleska Rayala, (21 years old) Cause of death: 27 stab wounds Location of death: Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil Date of death: September 2nd, 2015 Paulinha Cause of death: gunshots to head and chest Location of death: Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil Date of death: September 8th, 2015 Flower, (39 years old) Cause of death : beaten to death Location of death: Parintins, Amazonas, Brazil Date of death: August 27th, 2015 V.H.A dos Santos , (25 years old) Cause of death : multiple gunshot wounds Location of death: Campos dos Goytacazes, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Date of death: August 24th, 2015 Patricia, (29 years old) Cause of death : unknown cause of death, thrown into bush Location of death: Santa Terezinha, Piracicaba, Brazil Date of death: August 3rd, 2015 Unknown, (45 years old) Cause of death : Gunshot wound to the head Location of death: Alta Floresta d'Oeste, Rondônia, Brazil Date of death: July 25th, 2015 Gabi, (26 years old) Cause of death : Beaten to death Location of death: Valparaíso de Goiás, Brazil Date of death: July 19th, 2015 Erika Aguilera, (25 years old) Cause of death : Gunshot wound to the back Location of death: Dourados, Brazil Date of death: July 16th, 2015 India Nascimento, (29 years old) Cause of death: Beaten to death Location of death: Pernambuco, Brazil Date of death: July 12th, 2015 L.R.O. Dorta, (26 years old) Cause of death: Decapitated Location of death: Pernambuco, Brazil Date of death: July 12th, 2015 Vanessa Calaça, (27 years old) Cause of death: Stoned to death Location of death: Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil Date of death: July 12th, 2015 Unknown woman Cause of death: multiple gunshot wounds to the back and...

Trans Rite of Ancestor Elevation, Day 8

I pray to the Trans People of Color Doubly oppressed and doubly hated Shining and beautiful and wonderful May you be uplifted I pray to Lucy Hicks Anderson You fought for your rights in the 40s You inspire us still today May you be uplifted I pray to Lucy Hicks Anderson At some points writing these, I become so completely overwhelmed but I need to get it done and posted. I'm sorry, Mrs. Anderson, I'll try to make yours better....

Trans Rite of Ancestor Elevation, Days 5 & 6

I did pray last night, I just didn't get the verses up. I pray to the Trans Activist Dead You who stood up and said No! You who insisted that you, too, are human May you be uplifted I pray to the Trans Activist Dead I pray to Zoraida Reyes Trans woman and immigrant Who stood so proudly for both groups May you be uplifted I pray to Zoraida Reyes I pray to the Trans Elders You who held on in times before And lived long enough to pass on wisdom May you be uplifted I pray to the Trans Elders I pray to Leslie Feinberg Staunch comrade and moving author Whose words and life connected with so many May you be uplifted I pray to Leslie Feinberg...

Trans Rite of Ancestor Elevation, Day 2

Last night before beginning, I did divination to make sure I should be doing it, and was told no, that it would be bad for me. So I asked for, and received, permission from the Dead to continue writing verses of the Litany, and to make offerings every night, but not to do the elevation. I also asked for the permission of the various Dead individuals I want to write verses for. Brandon Teena declined, but the others assented. Tonight's verses: I pray to the Murdered Trans Men Slain for your difference Who go without vengeance or justice May you be uplifted I pray to the Murdered Trans Men I pray to Evon Young Rapper Yung LT Killed, thrown away, covered up May you be uplifted I pray to Evon Young...

Trans Rite of Ancestor Elevation, Day 1

Tonight is the first night of the Trans Rite of Ancestor Elevation, a nine-day ritual to honor the Trans Dead as Ancestors that ends on the Transgender Day of Remembrance, November 20th. I'm cis myself, but the trans community matters a great deal to me, and my wife is trans. So I'm writing verses of the Litany for each night, one for groups of Trans Dead and one for individuals. Here are tonight's verses: I pray to the Murdered Trans Women Slaughtered for their status Who go without justice or vengeance May you be uplifted I pray to the Murdered Trans Women I pray to Marsha P Johnson Pay it no mind, pay it no mind Mother, aunt and sister to so many May you be uplifted I pray to Marsha P Johnson As always, feel free to use these verses and to modify them to fit your needs....