Today, on the eleventh annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, we honor the memory of our transgender and gender non-conforming family members and friends tragically lost to anti-transgender hatred and violence over the past year. As we all take a moment to remember the tragic and senseless losses of so many amazing transgender and gender non-conforming people within our communities, we continue to work hard at not only passing laws like the recently enacted Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, but also educating our communities about what their rights are and opening up dialogues on how to address the very real and systemic problems of transphobic and homophobic violence within and beyond our local communities.
We remain outraged at the countless forms of discrimination our transgender and gender non-conforming loved ones experience on a daily basis and we will continue working hard to develop policies and resources to help support those individuals who have survived anti-transgender hate crimes. In fact, we recently sent out our monthly FYI, which provides important strategies on how to support a community member who has survived a hate crime, educate local communities about existing laws that can help address the problems of hate violence and tips on how to launch an advocacy campaign aimed at developing relationships with local law enforcement officers along with other social justice organizations and community leaders to help tackle the very real problems of hate biased crimes and violence. Furthermore, we continue to fiercely advocate for the passage of critical legislation aimed at protecting our transgender and gender non-conforming family members in an effort to ensure that equal opportunities are available to everyone, including those most vulnerable in our communities.
Today, we encourage you to join one of the many important community vigils honoring our fallen transgender and gender non-conforming family and friends. Many of us at PFLAG National plan to join the Washington, DC Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil to be held at the Metropolitan Community Church (474 Ridge Street, NW) at 6:30 pm. If you live in the area and/or are visiting, please be sure to attend this important ceremony. If you are interested in attending a community event in your area, please be sure to view the official Transgender Day of Remembrance website for events held in or around your specific location. Tonight let’s be sure to honor both those that we have tragically lost to anti-transgender hatred, and also to recognize and support all of the brave advocates who continue to take a bold stance against tolerating hate violence in our communities.