Hello my trans sisters and brothers all across the world.

TDOR, Trans Day of Remembrance, is one of the days where reflection is kind of hard. My name is Ceyenne Doroshow. I’m an activist and advocate, author, parent and friend, but first I’m someone’s child. As a child and being trans, it was so scary. There were times when I had to fight for my life, there were also times when I had to pleasure a group of boys to save my life. I survived against all odds–running away from home for trans acceptance at a time when trans was not a word.

I’m a lady of a certain age and over at least 40 of these years, I’ve lost my sisters and brothers to horrific deaths. My first memory of a trans death was in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn on Vernon Ave. My friend at the time, a parent and a trans man, suffered so much discrimination throughout his 9 months of pregnancy. Then he gave birth to a beautiful boy, all of us pitched in to parent, baby sit, whatever it would take to make our friend’s journey into parenthood easy.

Two great years had passed until that one horrible day. Walking up the block on Vernon, my good friend Joy and I had our three daily coffees and butter rolls and got nestle milk for the baby. We arrived. The scene was flashing lights, detectives everywhere. The curtains were ripped down in our friend’s first floor apartment. From the roped-off curb, we could see blood everywhere. The police were joking, calling our friend a dead freak of nature: he, she and far worse. We lost it several times, but the shattering feeling was about to come, and we were not prepared as child welfare walked out the house with the child screaming “I want my daddy, I want my daddy.”

We were crushed, broken and confused. Someone killed him and let his child live. A true hate crime. We were happy the child lived and sad our friend died so terribly. And what happened to all the nosey neighbors that would complain about the “gay house,” as they would call it? According to the police, our friend fought like hell to save the child’s life and might have even wounded the murderer. No surprise to me: he was a mac daddy strong and living his truth….

I’ve never forgot that moment. Over the years, I’ve seen so many of our falling angels die for what they are, not who they are. This is not acceptable to me. Can’t we live as peaceful as we would like in society? I have had a lot of trouble with the media and how they deliver the stories of trans deaths worldwide. In Peru this year while traveling with Ms Major for a film premiere, they told us of a young trans women that suffered another horrible death at 16 years of age, beaten stabbed and stuffed with a soda coke bottle. She is still in the morgue, because her family is scared to claim her body.

Enough of that sad shit.

Listen to me people: my sisters and brothers, we ourselves have to not only look out for each other. We must educate our youth, empower them as well stand in the path of their innocence and give the tools to succeed in life, teach them the politics of this nation’s view on transgenderism.  There is power in numbers and power in mentoring. My mentors, and guidance comes from my biological Mom V.Saunders, Ms. Flawless Sabrina, Ms. Major Griffin Gracey.

From childhood I had a plan to be a part of saving lives. On this TDOR, I  need you to find guidance and mentors, become politicians and yes give back. But first I need you to be safe. There is no time for shade or hating, putting each other down. There’s only time for improvement, empowerment and growth. We can save a life if we can teach a life, now take these words from a sex worker mentor activist with a stella’ sense of fashion.

Be present. Be aware. Be safe…………

xoxo Ceyenne

SWOP-USA Board Member