Bioethics Blogs

The Highest Form of Morality

“I will not cease to
be myself for foolish people. For foolish people make harsh judgments on me.
You must always be yourself, no matter what the price. It is the highest form
of morality.” – Candy Darling

November 24
this year marks the 71st anniversary of the birth of Candy Darling. She was
an actress, an icon, and an Andy Warhol Superstar; she inspired two songs by Lou
Reed/The Velvet Underground; she had cameos in movies with Jane Fonda and
Sophie Loren; and she performed in a number of stage plays, including one by
Tennessee Williams. She was glamorous and stunning, even in her deathbed
photos, and Zsa Zsa Gabor reportedly referred to her as “one of the world’s most
beautiful women.” She was also openly and publicly transgender in an era when
being so was in some ways even more dangerous than it is today.

Which isn’t
to say that these dangers are no longer with us. On November 20th,
just a few days before the anniversary of Candy Darling’s birthday, the tragic
passing of over 80 transgender individuals worldwide to anti-transgender
violence was observed as part of the annual Transgender
Day of Remembrance.
According to Transgender Day of Remembrance founder Gwendolyn Ann Smith:

“The Transgender Day of
Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender
bigotry and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and
the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase
transgender people – sometimes in the most brutal ways possible – it is vitally
important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.