Yesterday, I stood blocking an intersection chanting “trans lives matter,” knowing that the average expected age for a trans woman is mid-thirty. I wasn’t as loud as I could be but the sun was out and I saw someone that I knew from elsewhere — small world!– and I felt a part of something big. “If I could have been born again in any body, I’d still choose to be a trans women,” a leader said into the microphone, tossing her hair. “So you know, hashtag trans is beautiful.” That march could have been purely sad because of all the trans women murdered this year alone but it wasn’t. Yesterday, I was reminded that the other side of mourning is love and hope.
It’s raining today in LA, and all the lights near the airport were changed to blue, white and red. Today, Andie and puppy and I found a trail that no one else seemed to know about, and there were clouds that looked like a painting probably because I’m so used to clear skies. I’ve been thinking today about why “Black Lives Matter” echoes months after it was first tweeted. Most social media/hashtags don’t stick like these words stuck; our modern media is so transient. But there is something about Black Lives Matter.
Beirut, Paris, Nairobi, Los Angeles, everywhere. It scares me to live in a world where even our mourning is colonized, accompanied by strange nationalism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, hate. How a national outpouring of empathy is also a “fuck you,” a reminder that we live in a world where not all lives matter. Black Lives Matter. Brown Lives Matter. Trans Lives Matter. There will be hope. There will be empathy. There will be change: count on it. The following is a social media scrapbook from the last few days, to keep close.
What happened in Paris is despicable. My heart goes out to them. But, while mourning the victims of this tragedy, I understand that the world’s call for collective mourning is due to our obsession with the preservation of whiteness and the romanticized ideals associated with the city of lights. There are people of color in Paris, but the world’s mourning is predicated on the idea of Paris as a white city. Paris, as a symbol, represents the white western world which rarely knows – and is terrible at dealing with – its vulnerability. It’s important that the attackers are brown people because the victims are representative of whiteness and the innocence we associate with it. Mourning the deaths of Parisians isn’t a problem. The problem lies in our unwillingness to confront the conditioning which has allowed us to only view certain people as victims when terror strikes. -http://www.outwithgeorge.com/blog/2015/11/14/our-mourning-is-broken-paris-and-privilege