Join Us in Honoring Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today, November 20th, people around the world pause to bear witness to Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day dedicated to honoring the memory of those murdered because of anti-transgender prejudice. Transgender Day of Remembrance reminds us to fight against forces that devalue transgender lives every day. To bring awareness to this important day, we want to pause to share a few stories of transgender people who have found their voice on WordPress.com. We posed a question: “What does Transgender Day of Remembrance mean to you?” Below, we’ve shared a few responses from creators on our platform.

We welcome you to share your own response on your site. In the meantime, read slowly and soak in the hard-fought words of the brave voices who are willing to share their experiences. 


Dr. SA Smythe (They/Them) of essaysmythe.com:

Some of us have been counted, but most of us are counted out—unthought and unthinkable. And so we do it ourselves. We account for Tony McDade. We are accountable to Muhlaysia Booker. We recall Riah Milton. We recollect the fierce life of one of our greatest contemporary remembrancers, the trans griot Monica Roberts. We name the nonbinary people who continue to be treated as unnameable as we slip through the matrix of binary gender. The competing racialized pandemics of our time continues to be intensified for trans people, especially Black trans women, in this year as with any other. We live with that reality and demand non-trans people do the same because our resilience is nothing without their reckoning for the violence they allow to continue against us. Trans Day of Remembrance is not only about how trans people have been stolen from us too soon, but how we continue to survive and thrive and persist against all odds. Has there ever been anything as beautiful as that?

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Laura Kate Dale (She/Her) of laurakbuzz.com:

Going and spending some time in the company of other trans people was wonderful. I got to see trans people from a variety of backgrounds, some who had grown old and found love, and see proof that I could live a long and happy life as a trans woman. But the tone of the evening was contrasted by sitting with the knowledge of why we were all gathered, the knowledge of far too many lives cut far too short. I was surrounded by the trans people who had survived and thrived, as well as the memories of those who had not.

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Nicole Eldridge (She/Her) of transgendersupport.org:

My name is Nicole Eldridge. I’ve been transgender since third grade. As I started to transition, I would read stories online about transgender people dying. This is absolutely terrifying if you want to do what they did. I never gave up and transitioned. Transgender Day of Remembrance means to me that we remember the transgender people that have died and carry out their goal of an equal future for all transgender people. Every time I listen to a Transgender Day of Remembrance speech, it brings me back to Martin Luther King’s speech, “I Have a Dream.” What King said about everyone being equal and having equal opportunities is so true when I hear the transgender people’s names who have died. It breaks my heart to hear all of the transgender people that died for the year. In spite of the hatred toward transgender people, I rise above it all and help transgender people all over the world with my website transgendersupport.org. This is what Transgender Day of Remembrance means to me.


Tallulah Ker-Oldfield (She/Her) of transrites.wordpress.com

Trans people are nothing new. Gender and its expressions have been changing throughout cultures, and trans people have existed throughout history with notable examples in the many ancient pantheons, including deities. There’s nothing new to consider, no trans question – we’ve been here all along, and the only terrible things that happened because of it happened to us

***

And so I’m remembering trans lives lost this year, and trans lives filled with trauma, and everything that trans people have to do to simply… be. If you ever thought this year was scary, oppressive, isolating, challenging to get through and potentially fatal to be around people… you’ve been living a lot of the worst parts of the trans experience. Yet I’m remembering the powerful joy of my community, how our bonds through the pandemic have been strong, how well accustomed we immediately became to 2020, having lived our own version of it for most of our lives, creating found families, love, laughter, understanding and sometimes rainbows out of the unforgiving raw material of compromise.

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To read more writing by transgender people, explore these sites on WordPress.com:

We pride ourselves on being a platform where anyone can share their perspective, and we’re honored to be able to create a space for the personal stories of transgender-identifying individuals. Take the time to read their words and remember that it’s not enough to honor transgender people just one day each year. What we do matters every day. Follow these sites and others you come upon and, as a result, show your support in the days to come. 

Aesop’s Fables

I was looking forward to this assignment for a few reasons. For one, I am in Audio Production currently, so I have access to recording equipment. I’ve been looking for opportunities to use the recording equipment for extra practice, so this assignment was perfect. Additionally, I am a fan of audio books, so I was interested in getting a chance to peak behind the curtain and imagine the workflow of a professional audio narrator.

Originally, I was thinking of picking an excerpt from a book, but I wasn’t able to find anything that was quite short enough. Instead, I chose to browse Aesop’s Fables until I found a suitable story. I chose The House Dog and the Wolf largely because I thought it would be fun to make use of the sound of a howling wolf. I also thought I might try a crack at

While putting together the various files, I was hoping to create a natural nighttime forest ambience. For the most part I was pretty happy with the outcome. One disappointment, was that I was unable to find a good recording of the classic “ribbit” of a frog. It turns out that frogs have a large variety of calls, and many of them are not very recognizable. I was looking for something a little more gentle than the frog calls I found. I did end up finding a fun recording of an owl hoot. I was happy with that one, since it is so recognizable, and indicative of a nighttime forest.

Overall, a fun project!

by Gabriel Olsen-Martinez

F20-P4-Two Travelers and the Bear

https://thefunkids.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/kumatohito03.jpg

Play

I had set out to do his big elaborate audio. I wanted to use all of the things I thought I had learned through the videos and websites.  I tried a few different versions of this fable, but some were too long and I was being over-ambitious. Once I started to clean it up I realized that I did not nearly give myself enough time to do this the way I visioned in my head.  I was a bit confused at times with all of the different options and steps that I had to take in making it sound good. I know that the more I do it the better I will get at it. 

Once I did finally find a version I like I thought that I would record my voice in a way so that the listener heard the story. I tried several different ways to use the pitch of my voice to try to convey the story. I wanted to engage the listener in what I was saying. I searched for the right music track that would deliver a “children’s” type theme. While I didn’t think that audio is something I would like to do, I have changed my mind after listening to where I started to the end result. Though it could have been better I will be experimenting more with audio recordings.?

By: Darlene Waters

Sound Design – “Rubble”

by Jeff Pagano

This is my second version of Rubble. I did the first one for my Timeline Based Tools class, but wasn’t fully satisfied with it. One minute was too short and I wanted to tell the story more clearly, so I started with the sounds I liked and built an entirely new sequence.

A couple of notes: The idea was inspired by a song by the Canadian band Metric called “Help, I’m Alive.” The heartbeat was a recording of a cloth being snapped and the water dripping was from my bathtub.

Just for fun, here’s the first version…

An Unspoken Miracle

This short audio essay is about the power of words that can change the world or, at least, someone’s life. I believe in this power, and believe everyone has it inside. It just needs to be found and spoken.

Working on this project, I spent most time on just feeling life and hearing sounds around me. I had to go into the audio world from my familiar visual world. While walking with a recorder, I really missed my camera. However, it was an amazing experience. I tried to think how I can use the tools I usually use with my photography. How to highlight, tint, dodge, gradient, or dehaze sounds, how to use layers and masks in audio language. I experimented, played, and eventually, learned a lot. I know I have areas I need to learn more about. For example, it is how to clean the voice to perfection. I really struggled with this problem. I also struggled with English translation of my poems and my Russian accent. Nevertheless, it is my first audio project and experience with Audacity, so I am pretty satisfied with what I accomplished today. But tomorrow, I know, I will hate it, so I will continue to improve and develop the better multimedia designer inside of me. I think this is the key to growth, so it’s a good thing.

I used music and sounds from free libraries: https://samplefocus.com/ and https://www.soundjay.com/ I also recorded sounds of birds from the street. Plus, I used my own voice, texts, and a picture.

By: Lyu Gremli

The Lion and The Mouse

For this audio project I was trying to achieve the second option out of the three. Which was to read an Aesop fable and to record it. I tried to accomplish of achieving the realistic feel whilst reading this story aloud by using sound effects. Having the sound effects lead you through the story as I read them out loud. Finding the perfect sound for each part of the story. My experience with this project was positive. Nothing went wrong and I’m already familiar with using audio in my projects. As well as editing audio and adding sound effects. Putting this project was fairly easy, recorded my audio and imported it into premiere pro. After importing, I searched for sound effects that would fit this fable. Looking for lion and mice sound effects. Then some few other effects like a trap and rope getting tied. I really enjoyed looking for sound effects. Listening to many options making sure it was the perfect fit. I only struggled with finding a decent lion sound effect because all of them sounded extremely aggressive. Other than that specific sound, all the other ones were super easy to find. Overall this project was fun to do and I had enjoyed it.

Audio Project

This is a short reading of the first part of Little Snow White, as recorded by the Grimm Brothers Fairy Tales. For this recording, I tried to record myself as clearly as possible. That way, I could emphasize the story being read, rather than the fact that it was being read. While I feel my pop filter was lacking, I did try to edit out as much of the odd silences and unusual mouth sounds as I could. Removing these sounds from words was difficult, and in certain places, I simply could not separate them, but in the gaps between words, I was far more easily able to remove the noticeable sounds. I also did some noise reduction in an attempt to clarify the words further. Had I had more time to move past these necessary steps, I might have added introduction or ending music to help set the fantasy setting. As far as Audacity goes, I found it to be an incredibly intuitive program, especially if you already have experience with prior versions of the program.

Relief

So with this project, I worked diligently to instill a feeling of relief into anyone who listens to it. In my audio, I tell a story with minimal dialogue. I used the sounds to help decide the place, the weather, and the overall vibe of the story. I used my project from another class as the bases, then I went from there, adding and taking away different parts and reworking the overall flow of the audio by taking multiple steps.

The story I was trying to convey was a story of someone who just got home from a long day of work in the rain and walks through the rain to their place of residence to enter and be greeted by their roommate. After that, they proceed to walk into their bedroom, turn on some tunes and draw. There are many things that people do to relax every day and I just wanted to convey another way to relax. I hope this audio conveys relief and relaxation after a long day.

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