We return tonight to where we had to begin: by listening to our bodies. In the face of a society that told us we couldn’t, shouldn’t, or didn’t exist as transgender and gender expansive folx, we dared to listen to ourselves. And our bodies told us: “This is what this body is like.”
Breathing in, I am aware of my body. Breathing out, I listen to my body. (bell)
We have read so many names tonight and felt that shared grief in our bodies. But we have also felt the suffering that goes unnamed. Our transgender and gender expansive family too often suffer exclusion from families, jobs, housing, medical care, educational opportunities, and citizenship. Our bodies feel the pain of this exclusion. And we remember the harm inflicted on members of our trans family that are Black and Brown, who also suffer the injustices of racism in all its forms. We grieve: for ourselves and for all who have suffered such cruelty for so long. Our bodies will be heard.
Breathing in, I am aware of my body. Breathing out, I listen to the grief in my body.
We hear this grief, but that is not all we hear. Listen to our bodies! Yes, we have known suffering every day, and bear the scars. But listen to our bodies! We are strong. We are here for each other. We create new worlds. We exist in the face of all this violence, hatred, and grief, and insist on living, loving, and thriving. Listen to our bodies: they invite us to dream and build a new world. Our bodies will be heard.
Breathing in, I am aware of my body. Breathing out, I listen to the love in my body.
So our bodies teach us - how to grieve, heal, dream, and create. Listen to your body now, in this moment. Sit, stand, lie down, or move in a way that you can feel the stability of your body, the strength of your body, the life of your body. Let your breathing settle into this rhythm of strength and balance. Our bodies will be heard.
Breathing in, I am aware of my body. Breathing out, I listen to the life in my body.
Our bodies teach us what we need. We dream of a world where these bodies are safe, healthy, and rest easy at night. We dream of a world where we access the medical care, housing, food, employment, and enjoyment we need. We dream of a world where we get to decide what supports our well-being, and where all people are free and equal. And in this moment, anticipating a future built by us and for us, we relax into joy and peace. Our bodies will be heard.
Breathing in, I am aware of my body. Breathing out, I listen to the joy in my body.
Feeling that, sustained by that, bring your attention to your breath and the beating of your heart. If it feels natural, place a hand on your heart or belly. Take a breath and simply rest.
We have to be honest about the grief and anger in our bodies, but we can also know the love and pleasure in our bodies. When we get a chance to channel that energy into life and love, we thrive and our communities thrive. Savoring and being nurtured by this energy, and our shared commitment to liberation and justice, our bodies will be heard.
Breathing in, I am aware of my body. Breathing out, I listen to the liberation in my body.
So tonight we make room for more than grief. We make room for our fierceness, our pleasure, and our love. Because when we are included, our communities are stronger, more beautiful, more complete. Stay centered here and allow yourself to rest in your beauty, kindness, wisdom, and your most fierce, joyful love. In the midst of grief, listen for our community’s passionate insistence for all the good things that support your well-being, and our collective well-being.
Resolve to let this energy carry and sustain you, as we continue to work together to embody and co-create a new world where all transgender and gender expansive folx, and where everyone, can live with freedom, safety, and joy.
Our bodies will be heard.
(bell) (bell) (bell)