Wednesday, 7 November 2018

November 20th (November 4, 2018)

Hope is
Fragile flower
Pushing its way
Through life's rubble

In seeking love
That heals
And binds us
As one.

One moment
Changes everything.

As we gather
On November 20th
Day of Transgender

Honouring those
Hastily taken
By ignorance/hate
This past year.

Candlelight vigil
Speaking those names
Out loud
Forever silenced
As tears flow.

Single step
In healing process
For our shared community
Trans and cisgender.

(Shall you join us
Please remember
No cameras/recording devices
Thank you.)

Breaking barriers
Reminding us
Struggle for acceptance
Never over.

Winter’s darkest days
Stand before us
U.S. President Trump vowing
Legally defining us
Out of existence.

Leader of the free world

Not first
Nor last time
Our rights denied.

And yes
Mr President
Everyone is responsible
For their spoken
And written words.

Especially those
Inspiring others
To use force
Despite your claims

Therisa © 2018

Author's note: I wish to thank the generous support of Mary Kling (, Sherry Marr ( and Rosemary Nissen-Wade (, who beta read this poem, offering suggestions for improvement and personal encouragement. All three women, are gifted poets, in their own right. Please support them, by reading their poetry and leaving your comments behind.

For more information about your local Day of Transgender Remembrance ceremonies, please contact your local LGBTQ+ centre.

November 10-20th, is one of the darkest period of the year, for myself, as I struggle with the beginning of SAD, for this fall/winter season. While observing important remembrance dates and personal anniversaries that hit me hard, every year. It's this reason, I call November, the month of death.

Undertaking the process of transitioning, is a lifequest that the ciscommunity doesn't really understand the ramifications of our needs. Knowing, we're crossing boundaries and taboos that many cultures and societies are struggling to address. Even within gay and lesbian communities, this is reflexive of the issues, facing trans/cisgender people.

Before anyone thinks, the LGBTQ+ community is, one huge homogeneous group, we're not. Too often, the transcommunity has been the sacrificial lamb, in the passage of gay/lesbian legal and constitutional rights. Often, leaving us, with the bitter taste of betrayal and frustration.

Please don't label the entire ciscommunity, as being totally transphobic. Some of our strongest defenders and fighters, are found here, whether straight or gay/lesbian. Going places, denied to us, for political and economic reasons.

For them, I am entirely grateful for their support. Knowing, I wouldn't be, in this time or place, to write about my own experiences and thoughts, as a Canadian, who is transgender. Fearing the growing backlash that's emerging from the United States and other countries, who have political extremist heads of government. May we avoid a repeat of the 1930s, in the subjectation of minority groups, like the LGBTQ+ community.

For the record,  The Rose is one of those song that I can't listen to, without seriously crying, anytime, I hear it. Having been sung at several funeral and memorial services, I have attended. Another song is Up Where We Belong.


Sherry Marr said...

A powerful poem, Therisa. I especially like the closing admonition. We need our leaders to inspire us towards compassion and unity, not the opposite. Sigh. Thank you for your kind words. We are right here to walk with you through November.

Mary said...

This is an excellent poem for an important occasion, Therisa. I do hope that the US does not continue to move backwards. We had come a distance with GLBTQ rights, but the present administration wishes to take away all of the gains and move us back into the 1930's again. Last night I saw the movie "The Lavender Scare." You should try to see this documentary if you can. Beginning with Dwight D. Eisenhower, the government went on a hunt for all homosexuals in government employ. And they were fired. The infamous Joe McCarthy was involved with this too. The documentary shared the experiences of some who had been targeted. Truly I had not realized this had existed. I know the trans community today has it harder than 'homosexuals,' but all are being targeted by T, it seems. We need those vigils you are writing about. There is so much injustice in this world. Thank you for writing this strong poem & for the mention as well. Smiles.

Arcadia M said...

Powerful poem. Thanks for sharing.

Roslyn Ross said...

You honour the occasion profoundly.

V J Knutson said...

Thank you for drawing our attention to this date. I feel so inadequate in my ignorance, heartbroken for the legacy of hate, misunderstanding....

Frank Hubeny said...

Nice descriptive stanza: "In seeking love
That heals
And binds us
As one."

robkistner said...

This is outside my realm of full awareness and understanding Therisa, but I certainly understand the human rights to dignity, and freedom from oppression. Rage on rage on. Until the hate is gone... :-)

...rob from Image & Verse
Lost in Azure

Anmol (HA) said...

Ah, this is so powerful and saddening, given the scope of discrimination and oppression faced by gender and sexual minorities —your voice is so significant in keeping the hope alive of equality and freedom for all and positive reinforcement to uplift those who have faced the brunt of an unjust social order.
I cannot imagine the kind of violence faced by the trans community but poems like these help readers like me gain an understanding and put into practice measures to make it safe for everyone to live and breathe in our surroundings. Thank you for this.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

This is moving, in its pared-down clarity – and yet, despite confronting the subject matter without flinching, it has a gentleness and optimism in the way it includes, verse by verse, hope, love, knowing, gathering, honouring, speaking, healing, sharing, acceptance.... It is the way forward.

brudberg said...

Love how you have polished your voice to perfection... a day like this when we have the leaders trying to divide through hatred is more important than ever...

Lona Gynt said...

Hello Theresa. 💜 this. I was just wondering this morning if there was anyone else in dVerse community who is transgender, in November 20th approaches each year I always feel that strange mix of isolation, solidarity, grief, and hope. I am sorry I have not recognized you heretofore as a transgender sister. I am grateful to see you now. I am a 52 year old transgender woman, have been medically transitioning for nearly four years, but not yet out nor socially transitioning. Staying alive, let’s live together in this world in solidarity with the fallen, you have versed out this imperative so powerfully in your poem , thank you! Looking forward to going through your site more and getting to know you better. dVerse feels even a little bit more like home now. Hugs. Transgender flag waving in a friendly breeze up to Canada from Alabama! 💜

rivrvlogr said...

Peace on this coming day, and on all others.

Victoria Ceretto-Slotto said...

So nice to see's been a while. Your poem, provocative as always, calls all of us to accept all others for who they are. This seems to me to be fundamental, underlying our desire for world love and respect each person wholeheartedly. Victoria

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