I wasn’t sure exactly how to honor this day. I work from home and don’t have plans to really shop or spend money of any sort this day. As a two women household, abstaning from household or caretaking labor is not possible because there is no one who is not woman-identified to pick up (or notice) the slack. It is with some irony that I can honestly say that when my partner informed the cats about the strike this morning, they were unphased and continued to cause their general level of morning chaos.
Then inspiration struck me – I can do something tangible that uses my skills.
I am spending todays #DayWithoutWomen raising funds to support the planned Vigil honoring trans women of color and other women of color who have lost their lives to societal violence. The vigil is planned for April 1 in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh. THis is how I am spending my day – asking people like you to make a donation so the organizers won’t be pulling money out of their pockets to pay for things.
The vigil is organized by SisTers PGH. As you know, my blog Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents works to document the lives and deaths of these women, to honor their presence and mourn their loss. We have tried very diligently to do so since 2013. It is an honor to carry that momentum into a real time event in our hometown. We are honored and humbled to be one of the event sponsors.
We have also worked to chronicle violence against our general LGBTQ community in this region. The discovery of the body of Dakota James this week has made recent trends more urgent to acknowledge than ever. Violence is on the uptick or at least reports are on the uptick. Siblings and neighbors who are closeted for various reasons often go overlooked, leaving us without a proper way to mourn their deaths. It breaks my heart that this is the case with the death of two teenagers in the Pittsburgh region over the past two years.
Please consider a modest donation in any amount to help fund this specific project. You will be honoring those lost and supporting the women of color in our region whose work everyday contributes to the fabric of Pittsburgh.
Please share among others commemorating this day and ask them to make this specific gesture of support, this investment in local women.
The list of trans women killed in 2017 thus far.
- Mesha Caldwell – Mississippi (January 4), 41 years old
- Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow – Sioux Falls (January 7), 28 years old
- JoJo Striker – Toledo, Ohio (February 8), 23 years old
- KeKe Collier – Chicago (February 21), 24 years old
- Chyna Gibson – New Orleans (February 25), 31 years old
- Ciara McElveen – New Orleans (February 27), 26 years old
- Jaquarrius Holland (Brown) – Monroe, Louisiana (February 19), 18 years old