This weekend I went digging through some of my old writings. This piece is one from that archive. In October I remember Matt's murder, and November is Transgender Remembrance Month, so I offer this as a testament to those we've lost. And for all those would-be plagiarists out there, all rights reserved!
Remember. Remember them all. Never let the names lose their meaning. Never let the faces lose their importance. For they are not just victims. They are not simply images to call up when discussing politics. They are people - people with lives, rich and full. They are brothers and sisters, neighbors, cousins, parents, and children. They are teachers and students, clergy, bankers, activists, and citizens. They are souls - and are more than the sum total of their sexual orientation or gender identity, even though many choose to define them in this manner. They leave behind family and friends who knew and loved them. They leave behind those who never met them but still grieve their absence nevertheless. It is unspeakably important that we remember and that we help others remember as well. For when we stop remembering them, we stop learning from their deaths. We begin to forget why we cared, why we ached. The pain can dull - that is as it should be. We could not go on if it did not lessen. But the memory must stay - forever etched into our lives and carved into our very souls. We must remember so that those who come after us - those who perhaps don't know their names, their stories - can learn from them as well. So that their lives are celebrated. Holding tightly to their memory will NOT bring them back - that has never been in question. But honoring them gives them a new life - perhaps one worth as much as their first. A life that teaches and touches hearts. One that creates a new understanding - a new hope. Let their lives and their stories remind us of what we have overcome, for our accomplishments are also spoken in their lives. As we remember patriots and poets long since gone, so should we remember their existence - their place in the world and in history. Remember them honestly. Remember them always - they are worth at LEAST that.