MY, TDOR REMARKS NOVEMBER 21,2010 Milwaukee MCC Church
In the spirit of building our community, I attended a candle light vigil for a
murdered trans woman recently, in Milwaukee. Her Name is Chanel. In the months following
Chanel's death some thing has shifted in my consciousness. At first I did not want to be
the victim as a part of all of this. But over time,it has become clear it is not
about being a victim. It is about coming together as community. Being there for
each other supporting one another. Indeed we are not victims,As a result of Chanel's death.
But we are people who have changed and grown and matured as human beings,as a result of all of this.
The trans community,the white community and the black community all came together
that evening .We came together in support of each other ,and to remember Chanel!
We have been considering how to build the trans community. But the vigil illustrated it goes far
beyond all of that. Chanel did not die in vain.
When you change the way you look at things ,The things you look at change. In
the past months, I personally have had go grow up, and change my thinking about
quite a few things. I have had to take responsibility for my life and my past
,and then forgive my past. Now it is time for me to reach out to others, and help
build our community. I am available for you. It is truly about helping each other
become our true selves. I am so glad I have people who came by my side and instructed me and corrected me in this.
So The Vigil has helped me to shift my focus off of me ,on to the well being of others.
This just illustrates what collective action can do. This not about me personally,but it is about Individuals in the community coming together to meet needs.
At the Vigil it was stated that in the TRANS community that Chanel was a part ,they form families of Trans People.
They have a father ,and a mother and a child. This is for reasons of understanding what gender identity issues are all about. In no way dose this family take away from blood family,Because for those of us who still have blood family,the blood family is primary in support of an individual. The family concept is accountability and support and mentoring ,and love and correction for the 3 people involved . This family setting is about Being there for each other supporting one another.
Perhaps another way to build community is through mentoring. A mentor by definition, is one entrusted with the care and education of another . In Native American cultures the tribe build community using natural mentors.
Recently I have been asked to mentor New hires at my job. My primary responsibility is to help my protege to learn proper procedure,to show the proper path, and give opportunity for hands on experience. I need to make sure my protege knows the job well enough to succeed on his or her own. Perhaps in our community, the more experienced ought to teach the least experienced the basics. And offer helpful suggestions and advice. Another important part would be offering encouragement and validation.
A mentor is a wise and trusted counselor ,and influential and supportive.
Recently on my job, a girl named Lisa, who is just beginning her journey publicly approached me for help with support groups and therapists, and hormones. Here is a great opportunity to begin a mentor relationship with Lisa. So I helped and now we are beginning a friendship.
A thought in closing: There is One possible benefit ,as we get people together and caring and help support each other,through mentoring and friendship. That Benefit being,We would reduce the occurrences of suicide in the community. And in crease the accountability and maturity levels of our people. Just knowing some one is there for us , and that we are not Isolated, is an important thing. And so we need to reach out and love one another,and make a difference in our communities!
Gracious God, forgive me when I have passed by persons along the way who have been in need.Help me reach out and not only proclaim your love,but show your love by meeting others' needs and by standing alongside those who are marginalized, hurting ,and forgotten. By taking focus off of my life,I find my more complete purpose-the purpose you have for me. Amen.
Markie Anna Wenzel