The OutCenter of Southwest Michigan stands with the trans community and hope that by remembering those lost, that we can adequately honor and cherish those who were lost this year and continuously work to empower those who remain to live their most authentic lives. 

Transgender Day of Remembrance has been held on November 20th since 1999, and this year, we have the honor of being a part of a virtual vigil on that day. From International Transgender Day of Remembrance’s website:

“Day of Remembrance publicly mourns and honors the lives of our brothers and sisters who might otherwise be forgotten. Through the vigil, we express love and respect for our people in the face of national indifference and hatred. Day of Remembrance reminds non-transgender people that we are their sons, daughters, parents, friends and lovers. Day of Remembrance gives our allies a chance to step forward with us and stand in vigil, memorializing those of us who’ve died by anti-transgender violence.”

Over the past year, there were 47 confirmed violent trans deaths in the United States, with a 41% increase of violence against trans people (from 2018). And these numbers do not include underreporting in Michigan and across the country. This increase in violence parallels the increase of hate crimes across the county. According to the FBI, 2019 had the highest number of hate crimes in the past 16 years, including an increase of racial hate crimes. We know that BIPOC trans femmes are the most targeted by hate, to suffer trauma, and we believe to suffer additional impacts due to COVID19. 

Globally, there were 386 trans deaths worldwide: this includes death by violence, by self-harm, those who died in ways yet to be determined and sadly, this year, from COVID-19. All of these people, their deaths and murders, deserve to be remembered, as we know that trans individuals are more likely to come to harm than their cis counterparts.

In today’s climate, there has never been a more appropriate time to stand with and remember with the trans community and those lost. We aim to pay homage to those who were lost this year and continuously work to empower those who remain to live their most authentic lives with our joint vigil service (see below). 

Join us for this year’s Transgender Day of Remembrance Service as we honor and remember our Transgender community members who lost their lives to violence in the past year. Due to safety concerns regarding Covid-19, this year’s service will be live streamed on Facebook at 7:00pm on Friday November 20th. 

This event is a collaboration of Mosaic Health & Healing Arts, The LGBTQ Center, TREES, The OutCenter of Southwest Michigan, St. Peter’s United Church of Christ, First Congregational United Church of Christ, Grace United Church of Christ, and members of the local LGBTQ+ community. 

Join us for the streamed vigil service here:

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