On November 20, the LGBTQ Center of Long Beach will recognize the International Transgender Day of Remembrance at Harvey Milk Promenade Park in Long Beach, along with 100 cities around the globe.
The annual day of remembrance occurs every year on November 20 and memorializes those who have lost their lives as a result of anti-transgender violence in the last year. This year’s event will take place at 6:30PM.
“Transgender people continue to experience violence on an epidemic level in the United States,” said The Center’s Executive Director Porter Gilberg in a statement. “It is critical that our communities understand that we have a lot more to achieve in our efforts to secure social and legal equality for transgender people.”
First District Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez is co-sponsoring the event for the second year in a row, along with the Human Rights Campaign, according to a release issued by The Center.
Although transgender representation has reached historic highs with shows like I Am Jazz, Laverne Cox’s documentary The T Word and Caitlyn Jenner’s announcement that she is transgender, transgender people are more at-risk to experience violence in the United States. Transgender women of color are especially vulnerable, given the disproportionate number of attacks against transgender women of color. According to the release, 21 transgender women have been murdered this year in the United States, more than the total murdered in 2014.
“I am proud of our unique and beautiful LGBTQ Long Beach Community” said Gonzalez in a statement. “I’m glad that we can yet again dedicate this special day to remember transgender individuals in our city and beyond.”
The first International Transgender Day of Remembrance took place in 1999 to honor transgender victim Rita Hester, whose case remains unsolved. This year, actress and producer Jazzmun Nichcala Crayton and boxer Patricio “Pat” Manuel will be featured as keynote speakers.
“It’s my mission to continue to create brave, safe, and affirming spaces that celebrate our diversity and allow us to heal and grow into a thriving community” said Crayton. Crayton was a producer on the documentary In Full Bloom and has appeared in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, NYPD Blue and CSI-New York. She also works directly with transgender women of color as a health educator with the organization APAIT.
Manuel is a five-time national boxing champion and is one of the only openly transgender professional athletes in the United States. He also serves as a fitness educator and helps those who have experienced trauma reconnect with their bodies.
“The Transgender Day of Remembrance is an incredibly important event,” said Manuel. “It offers a space for visible, collective mourning of those we lost too soon and at the same time afford the resilience of the transgender community.”
The event is free and open to the public. For more information contact The Center at 562.434.4455 or visit www.centerlb.org