As many of you know, today is International Transgender Day of Remembrance.
A day like this always makes me pause and reflect. Not only pause and think about the 162 known trans people in the world who were killed in the past year but also to think about my own life as a transgender person.
I've made some important decisions and changes in my life in the past year, changes that make me much more visible as a trans person in the community I live in. I consider myself lucky that I've never really been threatened with physical violence because I am transgender, but I know it's always a possibility.
A day like today brings up the fears that I am sure all of us have. But we can't let these fears stop us from being who we are. It's only by being out there and being visible that we'll be able to become a part of everyday life. Many people today have still never really met a transgender person. It's only through personal experience that transgender people will become human to most people, instead of something weird they see on the news or read about online.
And it's only by becoming a visible part of everyday life that we'll begin to reduce the levels of hate and violence directed toward trans people.
Today is a day to remember those we've lost and continue to work on building a better tomorrow.