November 15, 2016
In 2015, 21 transgender people died as a result of fatal violence, according to the Human Rights Campaign. This is the highest number of violence-related deaths among the transgender population ever recorded.
Thus far this year, 20 transgender people have died as a result of fatal violence.
To commemorate those lost as a result of anti-transgender violence, the LGBT Resource Center will host the Transgender Day of Remembrance Observance on Nov. 17 from 7-9:00 p.m. in UC 302. The event is a feature of the Moving Forward Through Violent Times series.
Transgender Day of Remembrance is a national observance that is held on Nov. 20. The day honors those who have died as a result of transgender hate crimes.
The resource center will partner with Transmission, a new transgender student and allies organization on campus, to host the event.
The event will allow students from Transmission and the LGBT Resource Center to speak out about their experiences, along with a presentation on transgender history. Jesse Perez, LGBT program director, will close the event by reading names of lives lost this year to transgender phobia.
Following the event will be a candlelight vigil at the El Pomar Plaza to honor transgender people who have passed away.
TDOR honors the memory and recognizes transgender people that have been impacted by transgender phobia and anti-transgender violence, according to Perez.
Perez said that TDOR is more of an observance, and is intended to be a time to recognize the people who lost their lives because of these things.
The goal of TDOR is to combine the aspects of affirming the LGBT community’s identities and educate attendees on transgender history.
“We often see that when someone loses their life, it’s not something that usually makes big news,” said Perez.
“Often transgender people are left out of history, media and films.”
Perez said that the day recognizes that transgender violence is an issue and honors those and their memory.
“We celebrate their life and recognize that they lost their lives for a cause that we are continuing to work on.”
This is the first year that UCCS has held a day of remembrance, said Perez. The Colorado Springs community hosts events, but none have been brought to the campus until this year.
UCCS avoided hosting an event on campus because of its solemn nature, according to Perez. The event focuses on the violence and injustice around the transgender community, a cornerstone of the conversation about violence among the community.
“With the transgender community, that’s always a part of the conversation,” said Perez.
“We invite everyone to come, and are hoping to achieve our goal of both affirming trans identities and honoring and recognizing those who lost their lives,” said Perez.
Perez hopes there will be diverse perspectives, and will open up the floor to whoever wants to share reflections or thoughts about TDOR.
“If we succeed in making this event both affirming and recognizing the fallen, we hope that this will be an annual event,” said Perez.