Community Gathers at Pride Center to Remember Trans Lives Lost

OutSFL writer John Hayden holds a portrait of the late Lisa Love Turman, who was killed in Chicago this year. Courtesy.

Celebration, sorrow, and frustration-fueled anger. The spectrum of emotions ran the gamut at events marking Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR).

Monday evening, hundreds gathered outside The Pride Center for a ceremony with high energy performances and somber statistics. Mateo Ventura Bruer, executive director at Aqua Foundation and trans activist, took the crowd through the grim realities:

In the last year, 320 trans people have been killed around the world simply for living their true lives. Of those, 94% are trans women or trans-feminine, 80% are people of color, 77% were 19 to 40 years old, and nearly half were sex workers.

Since 2015, 29 trans people have been killed in Florida.

All of this was set against the backdrop of 26 victims killed in the U.S. this past year. That led to the reading of their names. As each name was called, people came to the front to hold their picture, putting a face and a name to the statistics.

On Sunday, the Hotspots! Happening Out Art Gallery with Dennis Dean presented "Here’s To Life: A Trans Joy & Liberation Art Exhibit." The gallery is filled with work created by trans folks and allies. The program included a performance by Ashlee Hollerman and a spoken word by Rajee Narinesingh.

“When I think about how far we’ve come in trans awareness, I am overwhelmed. I remember when there was zero awareness,” Narinesingh said. “Our community has so many talented people. Finally, we’re being showcased, and our talent is in the spotlight.”

The artistic styles on display were as diverse as the artists themselves, with many trans pieces showcased alongside allies.


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