The weekend of March 24-26, 2017 has been established as a National Weekend of Prayer for Transgender Justice. There are many reasons this commemoration is needed right now. The March 22 murder of Alphonza Watson in Baltimore brought to 8 the number of transwomen of color who have been killed since the start of the year, on pace to set another tragic record after 27 transgender people were murdered in 2016. The Trump administration’s rollback of protections for transgender and gender nonconforming students has increased the anxiety for many, and dramatically decreased their likelihood of getting the diplomas and degrees more easily accessible to cisgender peers. And a bright orange bus bearing banners that reinforce static, binary, and long disproven theories of biological determinism is now touring the US’s east coast, in a blatant effort to divide communities and provoke heated, even violent responses.
As a Catholic and a lesbian, I am compelled to pour every ounce of my spiritual and physical energy and privilege into this weekend. And here’s why.