Many members of both the queer and straight community came together Wednesday, Nov. 20 for Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR). It is a national memorial day organized by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) to remember the transgenders in the past year who have died due to hate crimes.
Many SPSCC students attended, including the leadership of the new Queer Straight Alliance Club and the Student Senate.
Signs were handed out as the Master of Ceremonies (MC), an openly post-operation transgender woman, called attention to the gazebo and began to share a small speech about the reason for event. “Each year, for TDoR, the names and types of deaths for transgenders are read,” she said, “[These deaths are] an abomination. We are not the monsters and freaks we are made out to be.”
After her speech, a few more speakers went to the microphone, including members of Partners in Prevention Education, an organization that does not discriminate in order to help homeless teens and young adults, and Pizza Klatch, an organization meant to open queer topics at high schools in the area.
Candles were handed out for a moment of silence where names were then read out with their cause of death.
According TDOR’s website, in 2013 213 transgender women and men have died, adding to the 513 trans people killed since 2000. Deaths ranged from shootings to burnings, strangulations, and drowning.
“The anger, hatred, and violence shown that is shown to our community out of sheer ignorance and prejudice must be stopped,” said the MC when opening the event, “Like every other human being we just want to be loved and accepted by our peers and community.”
More speakers went up. The leader of Stonewall Youth, a local group geared to help those under 21 and provide resources and support, spoke about all of the options available to local youth.
A We the People document was created, which contains a list of demands, calling for equality, not merely rights for transgenders of all ages and races in Wash. It will be read again Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. at Olympia City Hall.
According to TDoR’s website, the event has reached beyond national recognition and was celebrated in places as far as Berlin, Germany and Hamilton, New Zealand.