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Transgender Day of Remembrance 2015

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Transgender Day of Remembrance 2015 Transgender Day of Remembrance 2015

Tonight I attended the Transgender Day of Remembrance in West Hollywood and it was a profoundly moving experience. To be there among so many in our community on this day was something I will never forget. I cried, I laughed, and most of all I felt very connected to this special community of people I am so deeply connected with.

It was very uplifting to hear the various speakers who all had such positive messages to share; that trans lives matter and that we deserve to not only be allowed to be ourselves but to be able to embrace who we are and feel good about ourselves. In a world where we so often only hear the negativity and hate it’s nice to be reminded that we do matter and that we should feel good about ourselves.

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2015 Transgender Day of Remembrance 2015

The reading of the names of those we have lost to violence this year and to hear their stories was just heartbreaking. It is so hard to understand the level of hatred and violence that we as a community face just for trying to be our authentic selves. And the indignities that are all too common as law enforcement or families misgender those who have been lost and refuse to acknowledge the true person just makes it all the more painful.

A strong theme throughout the evening was that we as a community need to stand up and make our voices heard not only for ourselves but for the community and for others who don’t have the chance to be heard; especially those we have lost not only to violence but also to suicide. That there is something deeply wrong with our society when so many trans people see no other option than to take their own life. We have to change that because our lives matter and we deserve to opportunity to find employment and not face discrimination and violence. We deserve the chance to live and be happy.

The musical selections by Alexandra Billings, Our Lady J and especially the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles were a joy to listen to and so inspiration in the choice of songs and lyrics so beautifully sung.

But what touched me the deepest was the closing remarks by Dr. Jaye E. Johnson. His message was filled with hope and inspiration and that we are important and our lives matter, and that we have to make our voices heard. The theme of his remarks was “Not One More” and how we as a society can’t keep separating and dividing people, that we are not one but we are a community of many. And that not one more trans life should ever be lost to hate and violence. The chant of “Not One More” brought me to tears; such a simple message but so incredibly powerful. And he echoed a thought I’ve had these past few days; that hopefully some point soon Transgender Day of Remembrance will not be a day to mourn those we’ve lost but to celebrate the people in our community and what we’ve accomplished.

After the program there was a candlelight march through North Hollywood which was another amazing experience. The police closed down streets and blocked off intersections, and we were marching through the streets carrying our trans flags and flowers, and some had signs. There were chants of “Not One More”, “Trans Lives Matter”, and “Stop Transphobia.” But what touched me the most was all the people in cars or in restaurants or clubs along the way who would honk and give a thumbs up, or stand and cheer for us. As we marched past The Abbey everyone stood and cheered for which brought me to tears yet again. It was so powerful and inspiring to feel so much support and acceptance to be have the chance to feel good about who we are.

I am so happy I participated in this event because it was so powerful and reaffirming that there is hope and that we do matter. It was a night I will never forget.

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