Joining with over 100 cities around the world, The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach will be hosting an International Transgender Day of Remembrance event. Taking place every November 20, the Transgender Day of Remembrance memorializes the hundreds of transgender people lost to anti-transgender violence over the last year.
At least 22 transgender identifying individuals have been killed so far. 2017 saw a total of 29 trans deaths.
Co-sponsored by The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach, 1st District Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez and the Human Rights Campaign, this year’s Transgender Day of Remembrance event will start at 5 p.m. at Long Beach City Hall as Councilwoman Gonzalez leads a proclamation presentation where the City of Long Beach will officially recognize The Transgender Day of Remembrance. The formal program will take place at Harvey Milk Promenade Park, the first park in the United States named after the slain LGBTQ-rights advocate, for a community event at 6:30 p.m.
The first Transgender Day of Remembrance was held in 1999 to honor transgender murder victim Rita Hester, whose case has yet to be solved. This year’s event will feature several speakers sharing information on their experiences in Long Beach, available services to the transgender community and a reading of names of transgender people murdered in the last year.
According to the latest Hate Crimes Report from the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations, 94 percent of hate crimes targeting transgender people were violent, a 4 percent increase from the previous year. The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey notes that nearly half of transgender people report experiencing sexual assault and 40 percent report attempting suicide during their lifetime. Most recently, the federal government has moved to prohibit transgender people from serving in the military and has proposed rewriting federal guidance so that transgender people are no longer protected from discrimination under federal law.
“Our federal government’s flaccid attempts at erasing our transgender community will not go unchallenged,” the Center’s Executive Director Porter Gilberg said. “The Transgender Day of Remembrance is a day for our entire community, trans and cisgender alike, to come together in strength and unity for transgender people here and everywhere.”
At 5 p.m., prior to the event, Gonzalez will be reading a proclamation in honor of the Transgender Day of Remembrance along with introducing an agenda item opposing the federal government’s attempt to strip transgender people of legal protections under Title IX.
“As an ally of the LGBTQ community, it is important that we use our positions to continue to advocate for transgender-inclusive polices at all levels of government,” Gonzalez said. “It is critical that we provide a voice for those whose voices are being diminished at the federal level and whose lives are being cut short because polices don’t go far enough. I am proud to be a part of that movement.”
The Transgender Day of Remembrance will take place Tuesday, November 20 at 6:30 p.m. at Harvey Milk Promenade Park (3rd and Promenade). Long Beach City Council meets at 5 p.m on November 20 at 333 W. Ocean Ave. Both the Transgender Day of Remembrance and the City Council meetings are free and open to the public. For more information contact The Center at 562.434.4455 or visit www.centerlb.org