Wednesday, 20 November 2013

tdor and knitting

on the face of it, there may not appear to be a direct link between knitting and tdor, the trans* day of remembrance. 

today, the 20th of november, is the day we bow our heads in north america to mourn and honour those in our trans* family who have lost their lives to transphobic violence. events are happening in london on friday across the city. we gather, read the names (when they are known) of the dead, and try to muster some sort of courage in the face of deep loss. the vast majority of murdered siblings every year are trans* women of colour in south american countries. the reasons and politics around this are dense, and not something i really want to delve into. not because it's not important, but because it's convoluted, and also not an excuse. people shouldn't be violently murdered because they have the courage to live their lives in the face of a society and world that tells them they're wrong just because they don't fit into a nice little box. tdor has a tendency of making me angry, and depressed, and of making me draw inward more than usual. 

and yet today, i've had a lovely day. i did a photo shoot this morning with lovely friends who woke early and braved the shitty weather to model and take photographs for a couple of knitting patterns i'm releasing soon. one of them will be driving around north america with me next summer on curiouser theatre's next tour. and then i dropped into loop, ran into one co-worker, chatted with another, and said a "farewell for now" to my lovely friend lydia, who also happens to be the co-editor of pom pom. i'll do a proper review of the latest issue in a later post. i knew lydia before i realized she also happens to be behind one of my favourite publications. then i had a coffee at a sweet cafe before work, chatting with the friendly barista (who had a gorgeous graphic tattoo on his arm) and then hanging out with my favourite co-worker (can i say that?) for the last time before the big move. 

so what do these things have to do with each other? what does pom pom have to do with tdor? nothing, on the surface. but if you dig a little deeper, they both come down to community. communities that have nothing to do with geographical proximity. the same way that one of my favourite humans lives in pennsylvania and our relationship has relied 98% on internet contact, i communicate and feel a kinship with knitwear designers who live across the world and whom i've yet to meet. we come together in various ways because we share something, a passion for fibre, for love, for life. 

this year, tdor still makes me sad. particularly because this is the second year in a row that i've been separated from the vast majority of my trans*/queer family by an ocean on a day when we desperately need to know we're not alone. but i'm not alone. not by a long shot. and neither are you, wherever you are. someone, somewhere out there, knows and understands your life, because they've had similar experiences. and so whether it is by social media, or subversive knitting groups, or a local cafe, or letters from someone you've never met but still somehow know fully and deeply, we connect with one another. and form communities, which cross over into other communities, and meld into yet others. it's how we've survived all these years, and it's how we'll continue to survive. as long as our communities remain strong but still open, we'll make it. here is my hand, opened to you. i hope you return the favour.

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