Red Durkin -- internet sensation, writer, editor and performer -- recently posted to Facebook:
This is cheesy, but please humor me. I want you to do something today. Maybe not right now, but at some point, I want you to say (out loud) "trans women are human beings." That's all. Thank you.
We at Visual AIDS honor her request, and take this moment to share this powerful piece of writing Durkin wrote and performed as part of The Fully Functional Cabaret:
Trans women, remember:
Performers from The Fully Functional Cabaret. Photo by Naked Eye Photography/Morgan Weinert.
I love you because sometimes you're weird looking the way I'm weird looking and you understand that weird looking and bad looking are not the same thing. I love you because you're beautiful, not in a "we are all the special and perfect creations of a loving god," kind of way. You're beautiful in a "crawled out of the muck and evolved," kind of way. I love you because you're loud and shy and glamorous and plain. I love you because you've got swagger, because you're clumsy, because you're delicate, angry, imposing and gracious. I love you because you believe in god and magic and all kinds of ridiculous stuff! I love you because you drink too much. I love you when you're HIV positive, when you're in prison, when you die! I love you when some authority you'll never meet, who'll never know your name, declares you unclean and cleaves you from your community. I love you when that community, your friends, your allies, your comrades and lovers, abandons you for the pleasure, the comforts, and the security that authority offers to them alone. I love you when other women find healing by carving it out of your heart. I love you when you're scared and when you're proud; when you're bored and when you're bleeding. I love you because I don't have to love you or even like you. I love you because I can disagree with you, be devalued by you, and be offended by you. I love you because we can come from such different worlds or have such bitter history that I actually hate you. I love you because you're just flawed and perfect and human as I am. I love you.
About the Author:
Red Durkin has toured the U.S. as a comedian since 2003 as part of the critically-acclaimed Tranny Roadshow, and performed at Camp Trans as well as other national transgender events. Her nine zines -- including While I Was Smoking and Red Is Dead -- have sold thousands of copies and are archived in zine libraries around the country. Ready, Amy Fire, her first book, will be coming out from Topside Press in the summer of 2013.