I’m a cisgender heterosexual married mother of two daughters. As a mother, I try to encourage my daughters to think and reason, have a consistent work ethic, and treat people with respect—even if they are different, or look different, than you.
In the face of trying to raise my beautiful black daughters, my heart is broken for the mothers whom have to bury their transgender or gay children. I don’t know why that soft spot is there, but I believe the root of that tenderness is being alive to remember whom Matthew Shepherd is. Even thinking about it now, from a parent’s empathy and depth of compassion, I want to throw my arms around Mrs. Shepherd and cry with her and tell her how sorry I am—and that is nowhere near sufficient.
I won’t go into the specifics about what happened to 17-year-old Ally Steinfield from Cabool, Texas Country, Missouri. What happened to her is beyond anything I want to repeat. The fact that she is dead because she was transgender is reprehensible. As a mother, you want to protect your children and show them how to fight off the sneaky and open evil which will set out to destroy them.
I tell my children that there is never a time you should attack someone because they are different. And no one should attack you because you may be different. There will never be a need to be part of a pack of jackals on another human being.
I think about what she might have thought, seeing that her ‘friend’ brought her to this place knowing —KNOWING what would happen to her.
I speak out on these issues because to be silent is to be complicit. Being silent shows my daughters that complicity is normal and the goal in conflict. It is resistance that causes and provokes change. Resistance is what agitates complacency to move so change and advocacy can come.
In order to be the change you wish to see in the world, you must see the world as it is. The murder rate of trans people in this nation is horrendous, even higher for trans women of color. This type of evil cannot be dressed up in anything less than what it is: evil.
It’s not ignorance. It’s not fear. It’s evil.
AND DO NOT THROW A CORRUPT INTERPRETATION OF THE BIBLE ON THIS BEHAVIOR!
Ally was still a child of God. No one’s child deserves this. No one’s child deserves to be lured, stabbed in their genitals, eyes gouged out and set on fire. No one’s child deserves that.
The Bible says that a friend loves at all times. I cannot imagine why Ally’s friend would betray her like this. And it has to be unfathomable for her mother and family.
I told my daughters when they were younger that no monsters lived under their beds. I would check and make sure, even ‘fighting’ a few. The monsters are often outside the doors you lock.
I don’t know when this transphobic-fueled silence will stop, but I know where complicity stops: Right. Here.
I will speak, because to be silent is to agree with the forces that desire to kill you and all you love.
I advise you to do the same. Speak up.