This is my 10th year of writing memorial posts for victims of lethal anti-trans violence. Over the time, I’ve tried to stay focused on the very original request from my friend Jacob, a trans activist. He asked me to write a “decent post” that contained information about the crime(s) but also acknowledged the life of the deceased person. A post that included an appropriate photo, the person’s lived name, the proper pronouns, and other forms of basic respect. A post that could be shared within the trans community for information purposes without intentionally traumatizing anyone and a post that would help the general population understand the campaign of terror.
Over the years, I’ve connected with other investigators and tried to stay true to my initial thought – listen to what my trans friends and neighbors say.
I’ll revisit this anniversary later in the spring, but this week a new opportunity presented itself for me to refine and enhance my skills as well as to perhaps do more forensics support work for the larger effort. I was offered a place in a 30 hour Forensic Genealogy.
I use DNA analysis and family tree building tools in my everyday life. I’ve been a family researcher since the mid-1990’s. I skew more toward the storytelling side of things and not so much the science side of things, but I think I could learn.
After I complete the training, I’ll volunteer more intentionally with the Trans Doe Task Force and similar efforts. I’d like to do more work around missing BIPOC women as well. I don’t know what that will look like except I will not be buying into tropes around sex work and human trafficking to fuel outrage over outcomes.
So this was an unexpected opportunity that came my way this week and one I appreciate, both for the content of the course and the timing. Being locked out of Facebook for going on 12 days has been tough. I’ll save that for another post.
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