Trans Day of Remembrance 2017 – A Reflection

By Reed Fowler

Planning worship this year was different.

We had to add new names to the list of those siblings lost too soon while planning.

For a total of twenty-five.

Not counting those unknown to us, erased in death, who died alone, due to addiction, mental illness, poverty, more cycles of transphobia and violence.


I want to wrap my body around the cross.

Clinging with all my strength.

When I press my cheek to the wood it feels like blood and tears.

I cling harder and the woodgrain imprints on my body. Or my body carves into it.

This space of lament and fear reaches deeper —

Like a caretaker or lover holding my heart.

Risking splinters is the only way I feel safe.


I’m angry and sad and exhausted at how often I feel those things.


My heart sings when it hears about shifting language

(from he to she to zhe)

(remembrance to resistance)

(but I can’t rest in that)


I want my tears to sprout buds on the cross

I want my siblings’ blood to sprout buds.

And let our cracking ribs

Breathe in the scent of flowers.

And rebirth.


Until then,

I will interlace my veins with yours.

And cling harder to the splintered cross.

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