Nov. 20, 5:30 p.m. TransCentralPA will host friends, allies, government officials, and members of the clergy for the 2018 Commonwealth Observance of the Transgender Day of Remembrance. The event will take place on the steps of the Capitol.
Doubtless, the week of October 21-28 will be a dreaded memory for many of us for a long time to come, what with the more than a dozen bombs sent to key persons both in and out of government, and then the shootings at the synagogue in Pittsburgh.
However, tragedy is no stranger to the LGBT community; just over two years ago, we had the horrendous shootings at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.
The tragedies affecting the international trans-community will be memorialize on Nov. 20. In 2017, twenty-nine persons in the US were killed just because they self-identified as transgender. In 2018, there have been 22 murdered. Hopefully and prayerfully, we might have a respite in the coming days.
When tragedies like all of the above and others occur, we eagerly search for answers as we anxiously concern ourselves in the search for the perpetrator and motive. I would suggest that the motive is simple: individuals that have been fired up by the hate-filled rhetoric emanating from one very high placed government official, (who shall remain nameless in this piece).
When you refer to immigrants as rapists and murderers, when you make snide comments regarding people of color, and when you denigrate or disparage people or religious groups, and basically incite violence in your speeches it cannot be surprising that someone with no filter feels empowered to take action.
Of course, couple all of the recent events with the announcement that the administration is planning to define gender based solely on anatomical features manifested at birth.
On Oct. 22, I was asked by a local TV station to comment on the latest planned attack from the Right on the transgender community. I passed, but not for a lack of words or an inability to express myself. I passed because I realized my frustration and anger could only be framed in a partisan political context. As a representative of a non-profit organization, I am prohibited from partisan public proclamations. So I deferred and recommended several allies instead. I did not chicken-out; rather I let discretion be the better part of valor.
I have somewhat determined that making a fuss every time the resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue utters something hateful or announces a policy designed to hurt the LGBT community only adds oxygen to the firestorm. Of course, that may be just my way of coping, but it does allow me a sense of calm.
Carroll is the president of TransCentral PA. TransCentral PA is committed to providing advocacy and caring support for transgender individuals, their significant others, families, friends and allies.