Spoken word poet, Schmian Evans offers an open letter for Trans Day of Visibility - and every day - that celebrates the persistent resistant belovedness of trans, queer and nonbinary people of color whose light cannot be dimmed by transphobia or anti-trans policies and laws.
An open letter,
…and we’re still here.
In the U.S., 22 of my trans brothers and sisters (mostly of color) killed this year so far, by last count…
But no one bothers to really record
The shootings, stabbings, stranglings, bludgeonings
No one gives instructions for the cameras to roll
No headline news, no articles, our stories are left to fade in the sunset
Forgotten about by the world, but remembered by those who love us so
Our/Their names forever etched in those books
Because we draw outside of the lines, at times,
We’ve added a little flair to rigid gender binaries
We prefer 6” inch heels to your 3
Have vaginas and full goatees
You wish us erased?
No one to tend to us,
and no one to care
Well, I’m here again this year to tell you that it shall never be so
In the spirit of Miss Major
“Were still fucking here…”
And we know our lives are the perfect representation of God’s love
Even though some might guffaw when we walk into a public restroom to pee, health practitioners ask, “So what’s your real name?”, our community members sometimes target us because of their own insecurities… we still walk fully in all of who we are because
When God was at the drawing board, the ink didn’t dry up when She got around to us, God didn’t say to Godsself “Oh I’ve really messed up on this one”
The same care that was taken to handcraft you
Was the same care that was take to handcraft us
We are family, one Earth, and at our truest essence, one tribe
And we don’t know if you’ll ever see
But we remember, even as we move forward… we fight for and in the spirit of all of those who have been slain
If that means extra feathered boas…so be it.
Two or three more death drops & dips, it shall be done.
Category is “Resistance, Resilience, and Pride” we get 10s, 10s, 10s across the board.
Our fire will never be extinguished
You will never see our light fade
Hate won’t win
…oh, How do I know it?
…we’re still here
Schmian Evans is an educator and public theologian. A member of City of Refuge UCC in Oakland, CA, she holds an M.A. in Women and Gender Studies from San Francisco State University, an M.Div. degree, with an emphasis in Sexuality and Religion, from Pacific School of Religion, and a B.A. in Gender Studies from California State University Stanislaus. For nearly two decades, Schmian has been an advocate for historically marginalized populations, serving as an educator, advocate and organizational leader in a wide variety of settings. Today, she continues her advocacy work as a part-time instructor with the Chaplaincy Institute and in her role as the LGBTQ Programming Specialist with the Oakland Unified School District. In her various roles, she remains dedicated to advancing the causes of equity and inclusion so that all may truly feel welcomed at “the table.”
Transforming God, we praise you for the wisdom, creativity, courage and resilience of those of us who are trans, our trans ancestors and kindred. May this brilliance inspire our collective work of building your kindom of resilient love, on earth as it is in heaven. In the name of the One beyond all binaries, we pray. Amen.
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