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BY REV. AMANDA HAMBRICK ASHCRAFT

November 20, 2020
Trans Day of Remembrance
Today is Trans Day of Remembrance, (TDOR) an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence - see GLAAD's page about it. 2020 has already seen at least 37 transgender or gender non-conforming people fatally shot or killed by other violent means, the majority of whom were Black and Latinx transgender women. (We say at least because too often these stories go unreported -- or misreported.) Since the Human Rights Campaign began tracking this data in 2013, we have never seen such a high number at this point in the year.
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live... - Deuteronomy 30:19
Since Trump took office, his administration has waged a nonstop onslaught against the rights of LGBTQ+ people. You can view the long list of attacks, which include attacks on healthcare, housing, employment, and taxes, here.
 
Violence against the Trans community in all forms is an aberration contrary to the desires of God. We are all made in God’s divine image, and God desires that all people not only survive, but thrive. Further, the Bible is full of stories that expand gender norms, from Jacob who is gendered female in comparison to his twin Esau, Deborah the Judge performing a role reserved for men, Tryphaina and Tryphosa who preached the Gospel in ways typically reserved for men, and more. As people of faith, we must be loud in our acceptance, celebration, and protection of our Trans siblings.
Watch the film Disclosure on Netflix and check out a whole page of tips for allies from GLAAD here.
 
In a spirit of prayer, say the name of every Trans life lost so far this year, starting with this list.
Our prayer today is offered by Rev. Debra J. Hopkins, a Black trans woman minister at Sacred Souls Community Church in Charlotte, NC.
 
Loving Creator, Let the rain come and wash away the ancient grudges, the bitter hatreds held and nurtured over generations. Let the rain wash away the memory of the heart, and neglect. Then Oh God, let the sun come out and fill the sky with beautiful rainbows.

Let the warmth of the Sun heal us wherever we are broken. Let It burn away the fog so that each of us sees each other clearly. So that we can move beyond labels, beyond accents, gender, sexual orientation, or skin color. Let the warmth and brightness of the sun melt our selfishness. So that we can share the joy and sorrow of our neighbors. And let the light of the sun be so strong that we will see all people as our neighbors.

Let the Earth, nourished by rain, bring forth flowers to surround us with your beauty, and let the mountains teach our hearts to reach upward to heaven. Then, Dear God, grant us comfort, give us peace, and allow us strength to enable us to Stand up, Fight for, and be a Voice for Equality. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
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