Long Beach Event Honors Transgender Day of Remembrance Nov. 20

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Long Beach Transgender Day of Remembrance

Joining the ranks of dozens of cities across the globe, The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach will be holding an event to recognize the International Transgender Day of Remembrance. 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. Co-sponsored by 2nd District Councilmember Dr. Suja Lowenthal, the Human Rights Campaign, and The Naked Truth Trans Ministry, this year’s event will take place at 6:30pm in Bixby Park, an area many consider to be the heart of the Long Beach LGBTQ community. 

The first Transgender Day of Remembrance was held in 1999 to honor transgender murder victim Rita Hester whose case has yet to be solved. Long Beach has held an event to commemorate the day every year for last half-decade, with The Center and Human Rights Campaign organizing the event for the last four years. “The Transgender Day of Remembrance is an incredibly important event for our LGBTQ community,” says Porter Gilberg, Administrative Director at The Center. “Our transgender brothers and sisters continue face almost insurmountable obstacles to simply living their lives with dignity and respect. This event places our lives front and center in order to mourn the tremendous impact anti-transgender violence continues to have on our lives.”

According to the 2011 National Transgender Discrimination Survey transgender people, those whose gender identity or expression differs from the sex they were assigned at birth, experience levels of harassment, discrimination, and unemployment at rates well above the general population. Additionally, the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission 2012 Hate Crimes report notes that of all hate crimes committed against transgender people 92% were of a violent nature compared to 61% of hate crimes motivated by race. Further, The Organization of American States notes that transgender people are murdered at a rate almost 50% higher than gays and lesbians.

Most recently, transgender students secured a major victory in California with the passage of AB 1266, a law that mandates public schools provide students access to sex-segregated facilities and extracurricular activities consistent with students’ gender identity rather than the gender designation on student records. Proposition 8 architect Frank Schubert has launched a recall effort to place the bill on the November 2014 ballot. “With the potential for one of the most historic victories for transgender and gender non-conforming students to be stripped away from us, it’s critical we join together as a community for the Transgender Day of Remembrance,” says Human Rights Campaign Governing Board Member Torey Carrick. “We can’t afford to remain silent and invisible in the face of a flat out assault on an entire group of people simply because of who they are. The transgender community absolutely deserves equal protection under the law.”

This year’s event will feature several guest speakers in addition to a reading of names of murder victims over the last year. Featured this year are Gilberg, Naked Truth group facilitator Jess Villareal, Councilmember Lowenthal, and internationally recognized transgender activist Bamby Salcedo. Salcedo is the President of the Translatin@ Coalition and was the subject of the 2012 Outfest Official Selection Transvisible: The Bamby Salcedo Story.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance will take place Wednesday November 20 at 6:30PM at the Bixby Park Band Shell (130 Cherry Ave. Long Beach, CA 90802). The event is free and open to the public. For more information contact Porter Gilberg at (562) 434-4455.

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