Not for Ourselves Alone: Welcoming the Trans Day of Remembrance Service to UUC

A note from Rev. Beth Chronister

Two people sitting on chairs, talking, on the UUC chancel with trans and pride flags hanging behind

Embedded in the redesign of our building there has been a hope that we might share our beautiful church home in support of the wider community. On the evening of November 20, I am honored to share that we did just that. UUC hosted an evening remembrance service to honor Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR). Starting in 1999, November 20 has been a day in which communities gather to remember the names of Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming people who died from violence in the previous year. It is a heartbreaking fact that transgender people, particularly transwomen of color, face higher rates of violence and death. Transgender people are over four times more likely than cisgender people to be victims of violent crime.

Sadly, 2021 was the deadliest year on record and on the evening of November 20, we read the names of fifty-seven individuals lost to violence this year. There were also local trans activists who spoke that evening, talking about the need for allyship, the power of living one’s truth, and the history of how gender non-conforming people have been revered in many cultures. There was both grief and resilience in the chapel that night. It was a holy night.

The service was led by local queer activists and supported by a number of local and national LGBTQ organizations. Members of UUC’s LGBTQ group, Interweave, volunteered as greeters and reception hosts, creating a much needed space for connecting, celebrating community, and reclaiming life in the midst of grief. My heart was so moved to be able to create a safe and accessible space on that night and felt such gratitude to this liberal religious congregation that made it possible to do so. We were absolutely blessed in return.