Peppermint remembers the 19 trans lives lost to violence this year and has a powerful message while hosting the GLAAD Gala San Francisco: “Don't scandalize or act surprised when you discover someone loves a trans person.”

On September 28, Broadway star and RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Peppermint hosted the GLAAD Gala San Francisco.

During the evening, Peppermint made a powerful speech about the National Trans Visibility March that took place earlier that day. Check out the full speech below:

In her remarks, Peppermint had a powerful message for the room: “I know how lucky I am, but I also know you shouldn’t have to be lucky just to feel safe walking around in your own skin. That should be my right, not my privilege. But we cannot make that a reality; we can’t change the world if we are fighting alone.”

She continued by remembering the 18 transgender women of color who lost their lives to hate violence this year: “This unrelenting cycle of despair puts one in three trans women in extreme poverty and leads many of us to substance abuse, which subjects many of us to violence and survival sex work. Trans women of color are twice as likely to be unemployed and live in extreme poverty as our white counterparts, more than 40 percent of us experience homelessness, and nearly half of Black trans women attempt suicide.”

Peppermint continued, “19 trans women have been murdered already this year, and 18 of those 19 victims have been Black trans women. Many of us escaped murder only to remain inside a cycle of poverty, abuse, and oppression that seems unbreakable. But it’s not unbreakable.”

In the closing of her speech, Peppermint asked for one final request: “Don't scandalize or act surprised when you discover someone loves a trans person. Our potential partners need to be welcomed into our spaces, not made to feel as though their sexuality is off because they love a trans man or woman.”



During the GLAAD Gala San Francisco, Paula Abdul was honored with the Ariadne Getty Ally Award, Dan Levy was honored with the Davidson/Valentini Award, and Ali Rosenthal was honored with the Ric Weiland Award. The event featured celebrity guests including the cast of Schitt’s Creek, Alicia Garza, Eva Gutowski, Justin Tranter, Ariadne Getty, August Getty, and more. Singer Garrett Clayton also performed a musical medley during the event.

The GLAAD Gala San Francisco celebrates and features storytellers and tech innovators who accelerate LGBTQ acceptance and helps fund GLAAD’s digital advocacy work to grow LGBTQ inclusion in digital and social media.

The 2019 GLAAD Gala San Francisco is presented by Gilead, Ketel One Family-Made Vodka & Wells Fargo, with official partner Google.