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Silence Exile and Crumpets
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Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Time Event
And this is what is really important
There may be no point whatever in arguing about the fine nuances of language and who is and who is not a good trans person. It is the time of year when we mourn our dead, and celebrate our lives. I was asked by the London TDOR committee to do both, and to do so at a length appropriate to a crowded programme. So, here is this year's poem.

Death and Solidarity

So many dead. And how do we go on?
They shoot us, stab us and erase our name.
They beat us, bludgeon us, and try to blame
The victims. When their murders are all done

we are still here and watching. We're a crowd
of angry mourners and we won't forget.
They've killed so many innocents and yet
we won't be silent and we won't be cowed.

Just standing, naming, mourning is an act.
It's not enough, but it says we are here
and going nowhere, and we will not fear
to live our lives. For centuries we've lacked

our voice, and were killed silently. That death
cries out now through us. Without pause for breath.

Kate, Lisa, Ashley - you are all my sisters and I love you all even when you are screaming at each other.

These are my wounds; they hurt me so much more
than any wound you may have ever had.
For you to talk of your wounds would be bad
when my wounds are still pus-filled, jagged, raw.

You cannot see them; that's because your sight
is lacking not because they are not there.
You have such privilege; you get to wear
dark glasses that can make day into night

and hide my scars from you. So please defer
to my far greater knowledge of my pain,
accept there's something rotten in your brain
and I'm just better than you ever were.

You've had such great good fortune all your life.
Now please offer your throat up to my knife.

Which am I? I am both, like all of us.

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