On Sunday, people around the world came together to honor the memory of those lives lost to bias-motivated violence in obervance of the Transgender Day of Remembrance. Events were held throughout the weekend to commemorate the day, including an event at New York City’s LGBT Community Center this past Friday, which was sponsored by a number of LGBT organizations (including GLAAD) and attended by GLAAD staff members. Members of the LGBT community and allies were there to show their support and speak out in the name of acceptance and equality for transgender people. The event was coordinated by Gender Identity Project (GIP).
The event began with a prayer by a representative of St. Luke in the Fields, a local Episcopal church that is LGBT-affirming, followed by a candlelit vigil and march through the neighborhood surrounding the Center. Later, a number of distinguished speakers discussed the importance of the Transgender Day of Remembrance and the need for such things as equal protection in employment, housing, and public accommodation, as well the continued service of programs like GIP and other providers assisting the transgender community. Many speakers noted that, while the Transgender Day of Remembrance is first and foremost a day to honor those who were killed by anti-transgender violence, it is also inspiring to be in a room so full of support.
As the event came to a close, individuals in the crowd were encouraged to add their thoughts to the discussion. A number of transgender people and allies addressed the crowd, many sharing their stories of overcoming hardship, surviving violence and discrimination, and finding the strength and support to be who they are. Several speakers stated their hope that, in the future, the Day of Remembrance will no longer be what is today – that it will become a day to remember a far gone time when discrimination and transphobia led to tragic acts of violence, and that through the commitment of individuals and organizations to changing hearts and minds, transgender people have been overwhelmingly embraced and accepted throughout the world.
GLAAD thanks the LGBT Community Center of New York City and all organizations and spaces that hosted events to commemorate the Transgender Day of Remembrance.