I made a decision about a week before on what I was planning to do on November 20th. I had decided that I was not going to attend an event or go out. I have been working on this project for what I feel is too long now and this day was one I was sure would be a day I was in the right frame of mind and mood to work on the next step.
There are multiple other steps before I can get to a place I am happy with where I intend to go with this piece, but those are just details not needed now.
My mind was busy as I mixed the colors and painted. I setup my space the night before and measured off the canvas. It was a ritual in the sense of the notions of duty, respect and expressing reverence. I teared up multiple times as I remembered those for which the day is for and the lives that were lost.
As a trans woman I am fighting to be alive and at the very same time survive. I say this as coming out brought me to life and is also a threat to my life. While I hope the probability is low and unlikely the impact is not. I am trans in spite of the knowledge that hate is real and poses threats. I have no doubt this is a shared experience among most in my demographic. The very thing that saves can also kill. The horrible thing is it does not need to be such. The hate and violence is taught, learned or manufactured.
A poem comes to mind as I write this;
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.BY Robert Frost
The world from the perspective I have can look dark and bleak, full of evil in disguise. And I think of a line from a movie, which is a quote some know from the movie “The Usual Suspects”
The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.
Here is a link for more on this like: https://quoteinvestigator.com/2018/03/20/devil/
I setup to record a time-lapse video as I painted the part. I edited it a bit and adjusted the speed of playback. I didn’t want to put up a video almost 15 minutes long that would be far longer than most peoples attention span for that. So, I speed it up and brought it to just under 2 and half minutes, added audio and here is what I have.
I hope the owner of the audio either doesn’t mind or never sees this (the most likely of the two.) Dennis Lloyd – Alien. I recommend giving him a listen.
Back to the important topic… Trans Day of Remembrance.
If there is anyone or anything you feel needs to be acknowledged as having been a sacrifice, like Memorial Day here in the US. I feel as if remembering the Trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming lives lost to hate are as one might feel on Memorial Day a they are on active duty in a war-zone – every day and this day or any day could be the one that takes your life and still step out into battle. This is how it feels to be visibly trans in an evil, hateful and hostile world.
Here I am and I live in defiance of evil and hate! I step out into a hostile world to proclaim I am here in spite of that!
I was warned not to come here. I was warned. They warned me, “Don’t stand behind that coffin.” But why should I heed such a warning, when a heartbeat is silent and a child lies dead? “Don’t stand behind” this coffin. That boy was as pure and as innocent as the driven snow. But I must stand here, because I have not given you what you should have. Until we can walk abroad and recreate ourselves; until we can stroll along the streets like boulevards; congregate in parks free from fear, our families mingling, our children laughing, our hearts joined – until that day we have no city. You can label me a failure until that day. The first and perhaps only great mayor was Greek. He was Pericles of Athens, and he lived some 2500 years ago, and he said, “All things good on this Earth flow into the City, because of the City’s greatness.” Well, we were great once. Can we not be great again? Now, I put that question to James Bone, and there’s only silence. Yet could not something pass from this sweet youth to me? Could he not empower me to find in myself the strength to have the knowledge to summon up the courage to accomplish this seemingly insurmountable task of making a city livable? Just livable. There was a palace that was a city. It was a PALACE! It was a PALACE and it CAN BE A PALACE AGAIN! A PALACE, in which there is no king or queen, or dukes or earls or princes, but subjects all: subjects beholden to each other, to make a better place to live. Is that too much to ask?
Are we asking too much for this?
Is it beyond our reach?
Because if it is, then we are nothing but sheep being herded to the final SLAUGHTERHOUSE! I will not go down, THAT WAY!
City Hall 1996 – Al Pachino as: Mayor John Pappas
I choose to FIGHT BACK! I choose to RISE, not fall! I choose to LIVE, not die! And I know, I know that what’s within me is also WITHIN YOU.
And as I close this post out I begin to tear up with these tears that build strength and I will EXIST, I WILL FIGHT BACK!