Central PA's LGBT News Source

DAY OF REMEMBRANCE

Will you stand with me?

Posted

On Nov. 20, I conducted the fifth consecutive Transgender Day of Remembrance since stepping into the role as president of TransCentralPA in 2014. 

At the moment I do not recall who the questioner was, but before the memorial service began, someone asked me how I keep up with the intensity of my schedule and the demands of this volunteer position, and how long will I continue. 

In haste and in the pressure of the moment, I responded, “for as long as I have breath.”

However, now, away from the event I am going to answer a bit more fully... so for whomever asked the question, here is the alternative to a sound bite. 

I will keep on, keeping on for just as long as the impact of the needless loss of even one of my murdered transgender sisters or brothers causes my tears to flow. 

I will keep on, keeping on for just as long as I feel the pain when one member of the LGBTQ family finds life so difficult that ending their life is their best way to find peace. 

I will keep on, keeping on for just as long my frustration exists because one transgender child is denied by a school system or a parent...the opportunity to live authentically

I will keep on, keeping on for just as long as any transgender person is denied housing, employment, healthcare, education, or access to public accommodation. 

I will keep on, keeping on for just as long as I am asked to stand up and speak out in classrooms, boardrooms, conference halls, churches or at rallies. 

I will keep on, keeping on for just as long as I have the strength to put one foot in front of the other, for as long as I can put two sentences together, and for as long as I have breath.

So whoever you were, if that was a longer answer than you wanted...remember, you asked!

So let me ask you...what are you going to feel or do as you learn about the struggle, the intolerance, the hatred, and the denial of a right to exist for a transgender person’s simple intent to live an authentic life?

The second question...how long are you willing to stand with me?

Carroll is president of TransCentralPA; commissioner, on the Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs; Co-Chair, of the Keystone Conference; member, of the Penn Central Conference of the UCC, Open and of the Affirming Ministry Team.