Trans* Day of Remembrance 2014

tdor2014update

 It is time once again to stand in solidarity with our LGBTQAI brethren on Trans Day of Remembrance to   honor the fallen.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) is reported to have been created in 1998 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith to memorialize the murder of Rita Hester in Allston, Massachusetts.  Since the 1999 vigil held, it has continued on every Nov 20th to remember not only those who self-identify as transgender but also those who were transsexual, crossdressers, or otherwise gender-variant victims of violence due to their perpetrator’s phobia and/or hate against transgender people.

Communities hold Transgender Day of Remembrance events for many reasons:

#1. It helps raise public awareness about the issue. Hate crimes against the gender-variant are glossed over or ignored entirely by most communities, with the victims of the crimes often misnamed (birth name rather than legally changed name or AKA) or improperly gendered (birth gender rather than lived gender). That is IF there is any media coverage at all.

#2. It allows the LGBTQAI and Allies a way to stand united to mourn for friends/family they have lost, those who were killed for being “like them”, and those who may have no one else mourn for them, since so many LGBTQ are STILL cast away from blood family & friends due to our society’s puritanical ideologies.

#3. It reminds non-gender variant people that we of the LGBTQAI community are SOMEONE’S child, mother, father, sister, brother, best friend, partner, co-worker, fellow parishioner, etc and as HUMANS are worthy of the same rights to safety, and freedom from persecution as every other human.

So before I list this year’s names for remembrance let me give you the writings of Rev. Paul Langston-Daley

As November 20th approaches, I will hold in my heart all of the transgender individuals who have made the brave move to be seen for who they truly are, as well as those who are still too afraid to be their authentic selves. I will hold in my heart the families and loved ones of those individuals whose bravery was met with misunderstanding, ignorance, fear and anger. I will even hold in my heart those who are unaware, ignorant and afraid, in the hope that they will understand and find compassion and love.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

UNITED STATES VICTIMS TO REMEMBER 2014Betty

Betty Skinner (52 yrs old)  Died 12/3/13
Blunt force trauma to the head.  Cleveland, Ohio


Brittany

Brittany Nicole Kidd- Stergis (22 yrs old)  Died 12/4/13
Gunshot wound to the head.  Cleveland, Ohio


candle

Kandy Hall (40 yrs old) Died 6/3/14
Massive trauma, body left in a field. Montebello, Maryland


Zoraida

Trans* Activist  Zoraida Reyes (28 yrs)   Died around 6/12/14
Strangled and left by a dumpster.  Anaheim, California


Mia

Mia Henderson (26 yrs old)   Died 6/16/14
Massive trauma, found dead in alley.  Baltimore, Maryland


Yazmin2

Yaz’min Shancez (31 yrs old)   Died 6/18/14
Shot then burned behind a dumpster.  Fort Myers, Florida


Tiffany

Tiffany Edwards (28 yrs old)   Died 6/26/14
Shot to death in the middle of the road.  Walnut Hills, Ohio


Alejandra

Alejandra Leos (41yrs old)   Died 9/5/14
Gunshot to the back. Memphis, Tennessee
Funeral Fund: #RememberAlejandra. 


Aniya

Aniya Parker (47 yrs old)   Died 10/3/14
Punched and then shot in the head.  East Hollywood, LA, California


Ashley

Ashley Sherman (25yrs old)   Died 10/27/14
Shot in the head.  Indianapolis, Indiana


Gizzy

Gizzy Fowler (24yrs old)  Died 11/10/14
Gunshot. Nashville, Tennessee


NORTH CAROLINA TDOR EVENTS 2014

Asheville, North Carolina
Transgender Day of Remembrance Thursday, November 20th, 2014 7:00PM
87 Haywood Street, Asheville, NC, 28801

Boone, North Carolina Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil Thursday, November 20th, 2014 6:00 PM-7:30 PM
Appalachian State University Whitewater Room, Plemmons Student Union, 263 Locust St, Boone, NC 28608

Durham, North Carolina Transgender Day of Remembrance Candlelight Vigil Thursday, November 20th, 2014 6:00PM
115 Market St, Durham, NC 27701 http://lgbtcenterofraleigh.com/programs/adult-programs/transgender-programs/71-programs/transgender-initiative/409-transgender-day-of-remembrance.html

Durham, North Carolina Transgender Day of Remembrance Community Memorial Altar Thursday, November 20th 2014
Intersection of Trinity & Washington
https://www.facebook.com/events/578969395582278/

Greensboro, North Carolina, United States Transgender Day of Remembrance Thursday, November 20th, 2014 7:00PM-8:00PM
Tree of Life Counseling, 1821 Lendew Street, Greensboro, NC 27408

Greenville, North Carolina
Transgender Day of Remembrance Thursday, November 20th, 2014 6:00PM
East Carolina University (Green Room at Croatan) 100 Dixon Street, Greenville, NC, 27858

Hickory, North Carolina Transgender Day of Remembrance Thursday, November 20th, 2014 6:30PM-8:00PM
Lenoir Rhyne University, Belk Centrum Theater, Hickory, NC, USA

For more information on events in your area see http://tdor.info/

©RavenHarte 11/19/14

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Nevermore Use the Bible Against the LGBT

God loves everyone

Im so tired of the NC Republican’s, and in fact the nationwide Religious Reich’s, platform that their interpretation of what they believe the Bible says about the Christian G-d’s view of the LGBT is some kind of “truth” we should ALL subscribe to and accept as a reason to deny the LEGAL STATUS called “married” to LGBT couples. First of all, according to Encyclopedia Britannica’s 2005 religious survey, Christianity is less than a third of the entire world’s population. Even if I gave them all three Abrahamic religions known to vilify the LGBT (Christian, Orthodox/Conservative Jew & Muslim) subtracting the rest of Judaism, plus the Episcopal, Presbyterian, United Methodist, Friends General Conference (Quaker), Unity, United Church of Christ, and Unitarian Universalist denominations (since they have all become LGBT affirming worldwide) that’s still only less than a third of the world’s population you have left.

So seriously anti-LGBT Christians DON’T presume to speak for the rest of us. You don’t represent those of us who prefer to see the Divine as an entity that supports all love affirming human interaction, and you certainly don’t represent those who don’t believe in any kind of Divine figure AT ALL, let alone care about what’s written in an outdated ancient text. Actually, stop speaking altogether, seriously, because your ignorance is showing.

Here are some facts. There is actually nothing written in ANY sacred text specifically about “gay marriage”. Buddhism and Hinduism have NO religious doctrine against same sex union in any form. The Qu’ran references acts of homosexuality twice, giving no “laws” about it at all. Those all came from the Hadith and Seerah which are basically the opinions and decrees of Muhammad. Then we have Christianity, where the homophobic & bigoted faction within that faith has chosen *7* out of 32,000 verses in the Bible, repeatedly misquoting and misinterpreting them, to use as their weapon to justify their horrific treatment of the LGBT, and the argument to deny what is again a LEGAL STATUS. Oh and in case you subscribe to the idea that “G-d wouldn’t allow for misinterpretation”, go watch the documentary “Fish Out of Water” on Netflix and come back, I’ll wait…..

So why all this religious interference about their rights as basic humans to be afforded the same benefits & protections that any other human couple might have???? Basically it boils down to TWO issues all anti-LGBT religions like to cite. #1 That somehow any sexual persuasion other than heterosexual is wrong because it involves “sex that doesn’t create life”. (In Christianity that is the Genesis Adam & Eve argument) Well I hate to tell you, there are plenty of G-d-fearing Christian straight people just in the US alone who are in a heap of trouble with G-d for that then. Taking the fact that the majority of adults in modern countries have sex using some form of birth control, there are a TON of sex acts being performed by couples that WILL NEVER result in “life”.  Then we have the sky-rocketing numbers of people with infertility issues, and ahem what about all of we women in menopause or past it…. guess old Yahweh is pretty pissed at us too.  I won’t even begin to talk about masturbation.

So then #2. That somehow any sexual persuasion, other than heterosexual, is “unnatural”. If you are taking the word “unnatural” as meaning “not occurring in nature” someone needs to take a course in animal science, because there are HUNDREDS of species of animals that display homosexual behavior as part of their normal interactions. But we’re talking about religious context, and for this one it’s the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans that anti-LGBT Christian’s like to tote out. Let me begin by pointing out that this section of Romans is basically Paul’s rant about his disgust at the Pagan Graeco-Roman culture not acknowledging “the one true G-d” and so he’s listing the ways he sees them rebelling. It’s not about homosexuality, and in fact it’s probable Paul and the entire population of the time had no concept of homosexuality as we have been conditioned to regard it today. Paul was ROMAN remember, and the affection and partnership between males we label as some kind of “homosexual behavior” was pretty much a norm of the time.

The passage used to bash LGBT, Romans 1:18-27, is  basically a story about G-d having a little temper tantrum. “Bad Pagan don’t you know Yahweh is jealous and ticked off you aren’t revering him? Bad Pagan who reveres the earth, and all the things G-D GAVE YOU IN THE FIRST PLACE. Bad Pagan I shall punish you by “giving you over to the lust in your heart” and so what happens? The HETEROSEXUALS “exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural”. Ummm basically this is implying that the innate heterosexual peoples started having something other than penis in vagina sex, and in a ritualistic sort of way. But lets make a leap and pretend it specifically is saying the “unnatural function” for a heterosexual is homosexual sex. Who then would this verse apply to NOW, because if the sin here is “going AGAINST your nature” that tells me thousands upon thousands of homosexuals being forced to PRETEND to be straight, and have straight sex, are sure gonna have some ‘splainin to do Lucy!

And BTW if you are going to hypocritically use the *7* verses in the Bible toted out (which seriously if  G-d was that worried about it, wouldn’t there be more than 7?) then let’s look at the other five I didn’t mention yet too. Leviticus 18:22 – Ok so all of Leviticus is basically the list of ways these favored Jews were supposed to behave versus the other tribes. 18 is a list of “unlawful sex acts” but this particular verse 18:22 actually falls right after a verse forbidding Jews from the practicing the fertility rites of the Pagan gods Moloch and Ashtoreth, which pretty clearly tells me it is really about how the men in that particular Pagan ritual behaved. So again it’s going back to the same issues Paul was freaking out about. “Oooh noooes, don’t act like those Pagans.”  Leviticus 20:13  – All of 20 are the punishments for the acts in 18 & 19, and because the punishment is death for the majority of them, Christianity in general has already denounced these verses. Scratch this off your list.

Genesis 19:1-29  Sodom and Gomorrah, cities whose list of sins, according to the other books of the Bible, were: splendor, pride, adultery, lying, gluttony and the same “abominations” Ive already said had to do with the Pagan acts of sacred sex – NOT homosexuality.  So they must mean the story of Lot then, who basically offered his daughters up to be gang-raped, rather than betray the laws of hospitality. Daughters who then get their dad drunk to have sex with them so they can get pregnant? SERIOUSLY?!?  <eye roll> Scientific side note… archaeologists have claimed to have found the original site of both cities, which geological evidence is showing had a major earthquake that caused the petroleum deposits, sulfur, and natural gas to burst out of the ground causing a “raining fire”.  Oh so THAT’S where homophobic Christians get this “earthquakes are a punishment from G-d for homosexuality” bullshit from. Methinks we need a HUGE kick in the national education budget to increase the amount of SCIENCE people are required to have in this country!

Finally 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:9-10  go together as they both basically are just reiterating Paul’s issues in Leviticus. Hotly debated are 2 greek words used in these verses: malakoi and arsenokoitai. In Corinthians we see a list of those who will not “inherit the kingdom of God’, which is basically the same already given repeatedly in the afore mentioned books, except now added are these 2 words. Ok so Im no Biblical scholar, but seriously did I not just say Leviticus speaks about the Pagan rites of Moloch? And no one has actually made the leap to consider “malakoi” might just be the word they used for the worshippers of Moloch??? No instead I see things like in Matthew and Luke the word is used to mean “soft clothing” so they interpret it here as a gay man. I call bullshit! In 44 different translations of the Bible, this word was translated from the Greek into some version of “weakling” 9 times before 1602, when it gave way to the word “effeminate” used 10 times (including in the King James, American Standard Version and New American Standard bibles) before in 1913 it changed to “catamite” (boy who has sex with men), spawning the use “of male prostitute” (7 times) and THEN in 1958 we see the word homosexual appear and now in the most current 6 re-translatons. Quite a leap from “weakling”, which incidentally wasn’t referring to being physically weak when first translated this way, it meant “weak willed”, or “easily led astray”.

Then we have arsenokoitai, a word never seen in print before it appeared in these Bible verses. So we’re making up words now Paul?? Separately translated arseno is “male” and koite “bed” so malebed turns into “homosexual”? WOW! I hate to think how they would define the word mandate or mankind then!!! Regardless at this point modern scholars have looked at the historical Greek use of the same or similar words, and generally all agree this term actually refers NOT to homosexuality, but to the temple prostitute, which then again goes right back to Pagan ritual sex.

What all of this shows me is that humans should not be toting ANY current version of the Bible as a valid list of G-d’s rules, let alone profess to have ANY inkling of what G-d’s actual will might have been about partnerships we call marriage. Not to mention have you actually READ the thing? Im afraid there are many many more “rules” in that book that humans have already decided are archaic and outmoded, and so no longer follow. Yet you want to use these *7* to restrict marriage from the LGBT? And before I get the whole, “well we follow the New Testament” argument from anyone, let me just refer you to Matthew 5:17-18 where Jesus flat out says he isn’t changing or doing away with ANY of the Old Laws. Read: they all STILL apply. But lets just say you subscribe to the notion that “the Old Testament was done away with Christ” because it was “meant only as a guide for the tribe of Israel”. Well then that knocks your Genesis Adam & Eve and your Genesis Sodom & Gomorrah arguments off the list, as well as both passages in Leviticus. Which leaves *3* verses in the New Testament you are using against the LGBT, and really to what end?

So while I think everyone is entitled to believe what they want, at the same time are we really supposed to listen to you so-called Christians use your interpretation of a handful of vague Biblical verses to condemn homosexuality and deny LGBT the LEGAL STATUS, and therefore the legal rights and privileges afforded by the term “marriage” (ahem separation of church and state) whilst we also watch you willfully trample all over “laws” very clearly and specifically defined in the EXACT SAME BOOK???? Call me crazy but that looks like all sorts of hypocrisy to me. Especially when per the New Testament, you have ONLY TWO LAWS to follow, and you are clearly willfully disobeying one of them!

Matthew 22:39 “Love They Neighbor As Thyself”!

©RavenHarte 9/1/13