Transitioning from Grieving to Celebrating — Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson, USA

These words opened a Sunday church service recognizing Transgender Day of Remembrance in Lafayette, Colorado.


Today there is much to grieve in our world. I would be remiss not to mention [mention of current events of violence in the news].

Today, on our Transgender Day of Awareness Sunday, we grieve in particular the murders of transgender individuals around our country, and in particular, the murders of trans women of color.

Yes, we have much to grieve today. And grieve, we must. Today and perhaps every day, we grieve the violence in our world, the ignorance, the fear, the hate. In grief, our hearts are broken.

Let us not in our grief forget the light that desperately holds on, the light that flickers in the wind, the light that sputters in the rain, the light that burns bright around us and within us. Let us instead transition from grieving to celebrating! Today, as we grieve the atrocities committed in [country of current event mentioned above], let us celebrate every act of kindness, of courage, of hope, of love. Today, as we grieve these trans women whose lives were cut too short, let us heed the invitation not ONLY to celebrate trans women of color in memoriam. Let us begin uplifting and celebrating trans people, especially those of color, speaking their names and giving praise for their lives.

Let us celebrate trans individuals and the light they shine. Let us celebrate each transgender child, youth and adult. Let us celebrate their endeavors. Let us celebrate their successes. Let us support them when they fail. Let us celebrate each step we take as individuals and communities working to make the world safer and more welcoming for trans individuals. Let us celebrate celebrities who are transgender and, even more so, let us celebrate the unsung heroes and leaders sitting in our very midst.

Love lives on. God is with us. Light shines in the darkness and the darkness will not overcome it.

Friends, today there is so very much to celebrate in our world!

These lives are not lost in vain.
We will transition from ignorance to understanding.