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Transgender Day of Remembrance: Text of one of the Speeches

by Susan Forrest Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2005 at 5:50 PM

This is the text from the speech that Alexander Yoo, Board President of Genderqueer Revolution, gave at the event.

A NOTE FROM ALEXANDER:
I think that the Universal Spirit/G-d was moving and working tonight at the Los Angeles Transgender Day of Remembrance. I thought it was very appropriate how we started and ended the evening - we opened tonight with a beautiful prayer of unity from Alexis, then this speech, and then toward the end, Valerie Spencer spoke. She and I talked about a lot of the same thing (we both even used the word "trajectory"), but she said it, much, much, much better (or least, differently - I too can embrace my Divinity, even when I may not feel it, at least, not around the lovely Valerie Spencer). ;-) At any rate, Hashem was working in all of our hearts tonight. I felt and saw the Spirit in each person who shared tonight, and all humor aside, I truly felt a touching of souls and a connection to a higher reality, by simply sharing space with all of you whom I saw there. I also appreciated when those who spoke made sure to include in their speech genderqueer, gender fluid, and other gender-gifted people, as part of the wider gender community, including those who many not identify as trans. (Yes, I'm GenderQueer and proud, even though I look the way I do. One doesn't have to "look" or "act" a certain way to be GQ.)

I cannot tell you all, my friends and family, how much you mean to me.

-ATG
Alexander the Great/Goddess

=================== This is the text from the speech that Alexander Yoo gave at the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Genderism, homophobia, transphobia, heteronormativity, sexism, and any other "-ism" not only hurt those within the group specified, but everyone. Genderism affects EVERYONE, not just people outside of gender norms. Everybody suffers from categorization and the stringent expectations of a System that erases individuality. Those who "follow" those gender norms to a T suffer, are diminished, are made less-than, (but, really, who can obey the gender rules perfectly? In a fixed game, no one wins). Even those who do on the surface appear not to transgress the gender rules still struggle against a severe, unyielding, arbitrary, and inhumane system as much as the most gender-bent, flamboyant, butch, effeminate, gender-variant, gender-defying person. No matter if you're transsexual, transgender, genderqueer, gender fluid, a person of trans experience, whatever your experience. Because we are all part of the Divine spectrum, no matter what words we use to describe ourselves and our experiences, whether "trans," "genderqueer," "gender-gifted," and the like, we are all siblings.

I think that's something that genderqueer, trans, and gender-gifted people, all of us, can and do bring to the world, a message of freedom and liberation for all individuals, in every aspect of life, not just gender. By our very existence, and by the strength of our community, we help the world see outside of binaries, not just in gender, but race, class, ethnicity, physical and emotional ability, religion, and other binaries based on false assumptions about human nature.

As we mourn the deaths of those killed for gender reasons, we also mourn the physical and internal deaths of those still trapped in the Matrix. The same hate that caused the torture, mutilation, and deaths of those we mourn in the gendered communities, wields a knife that stabs at the heart of every Being. Thousands, millions of little cuts, of which most people are totally oblivious.

Ultimately, I have great hope that we can and will create change in ourselves, in our communities, and in the wider world, and what's more, that we already have been.

We are all unique, beautiful, gifted, innately and inherently good, Divine, full of vast, vast potential for even great good, and connected to the infinite energy and compassion of the Universe. You are loved. You are special. You are unique. You are beautiful. You are Divine. You are cherished. The world is a better place because G-d/The Universe/The Force put you in it. And we all benefit from building relationships with each other, with the Universe, and with ourselves. You already possess everything you need inside of you. God/The Universe loves us all.

We are each so limitless, so beyond beautiful, so full of great compassion, so full of creative, life-giving energy, and so connected to the Divine, whether or not we realize it. We have the potential to create peace in the world, through THE POWER OF RELATIONSHIP. We SO do not know power of interpersonal relationships, of one to one interaction, of relating with another, the act of creation between two or more people that brings us ever closer to our own Divine natures, more than isolation or combat ever could. If we only knew how powerful we really are, and if we could only see the untapped potential in all those around us, and ourselves! So much possibility! So much potency! So much change we could realize with the complex simplicity of Relationship!

What I experienced from my past life and still, emotional, spiritual, psychological, and tangible abuse, and what we all experience daily, I don't mean to brush under the proverbial rug or disregard with Pollyanna-like optimism. When we embrace our Divinity and our innate wholeness and holiness, we in turn act generously toward these our perceived enemies, not because they deserve it, or even because they will become better for it, but because it strengthens US, and because we can. And the more we learn to embrace our impressive wealth of goodness, skills, abilities, compassion, and inherent good, we embrace more and more our fellow siblings and reach the place of integration, of self acceptance and acceptance of the myriad diversity in our gendered family. And the more we accomplish that, the more we mirror and model to the wider world, especially those still under the haze of ignorance and hate, trapped in that Matrix, what true strength looks like, what unity, family, friendship, empathy, unconditional love, understanding, and peace look like. It begins with each of us daily and moment by moment embracing our Divinity, and we here who have been blessed with gender-giftedness, we can, and are, redirecting the world's trajectory toward one of goodness, unity, and Light.

Alexander is the Board President of Genderqueer revolution. You can learn more about Genderqueer revolution at: www.genderqueerrevolution.org

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