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Greetings, People of the Diocese of Olympia,

Today is the Transgender Day of Remembrance – a time when we honor the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.

If you go on the GLAAD website (formerly known as the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation but now pursuing a broader mission), you can view a list of the people killed each year on account of their transgender or non-binary identity. What you will notice, as I did, is that many on the list are transgender women of color.

In the Episcopal Church, at baptism, we pledge to strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being. What this means is that we stand against all forms of abuse, disrespect, or violence, whether that violence is motivated by gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, national origin and language, immigration status, housing situation, age and generation, ability, education, size or socio-economic status. We strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being.

You may wonder what you can do to honor the memory of transgender people whose lives have been lost.

I offer you one opportunity, but you might check your local listings of events and services in your area.

On Monday, November 20, at 8:00 pm in the cathedral nave and live-streamed, Saint Mark’s Cathedral will offer a special Vigil and Eucharist in observance of Transgender Day of Remembrance, hosted by the Queer in Christ ministry at the Cathedral.

And then I commend to you one way better to understand the experiences, challenges, and hopes of transgender and nonbinary adults. In 2022, the Pew Research Center hosted focus groups among transgender and nonbinary adults. The link to their results is on the screen.

Finally, I offer you my adaptation of this prayer, originally written by The Rev. Marie Tatro, Vicar for Community Justice Ministry in The Episcopal Diocese of Long Island:

Gracious and loving God, you made all of humankind in your image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: On this Transgender Day of Remembrance, we remember those brutalized and killed on account of who they were. Help us to overcome our anger and our fear of those whose lives move beyond our definitions; draw us closer to the mystery and complexity of your creation; teach us to look upon all of God’s children with love and compassion, that we may live in safety and in peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2023: A Message from Bishop Skelton

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