Gems, Transgender Day of Remembrance Reflection — Robyn Golden-Hann, UK


Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual observance on 20 November honouring the memory of those whose lives have been lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.  Find more TDOR resources here.

Set up:

Place numerous ‘gems’ (plastic or glass) on the central table, more than enough for each person to take two.

The candles referred to, lit earlier in the service, represent each country or nation in which a Transgender person has been the victim of anti-transgender violence in the previous 12 months.  Also, tealights have been lit in memory of loved ones.


As we gaze upon the sight of the lights shining here from the candles which you have lit, individually and collectively, we are reminded that we also bring light into the world, individually but perhaps more importantly, collectively.

One candle can give just enough light to see by. However, a whole roomful [gesture towards the lighted display on the table] illuminates a place with beauty and warmth.

As Eleanor Roosevelt once said; “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness”, and so we have done just that this evening.

There is much darkness in this world, as this Transgender Day of Remembrance sadly reminds us, but we nevertheless have made a choice tonight, to light a light, to be the light, and to illuminate each other and bring beauty and warmth to the world around us.

On the table you will see a scattering of ‘gems’ . Unfortunately our budget does not run to buying diamonds, but you are, each of you, more precious than diamonds.  And just like a precious gemstone, [hold up gem] you are at your very best when held up to the light and seen from many angles. Let the light reflect and refract upon you, within you and through you upon every facet of your beautiful nature.

Please take a jewel from the table.  Hold it, keep it, put it in your pocket and take it as a reminder of who you are, how precious and beautiful you are.  You might also take one for a friend, to give to someone who needs to be reminded of their diamond status.

Sharing the Gems:

Play music while people come forward to take ‘gems.’

This reflection was part of a community service hosted by Salisbury LGBT+ Christians at Salisbury United Reformed Church, UK.

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