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Trans Day of Remembrance observed at Atlanta City Hall

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Trans Day of Remembrance observed at Atlanta City Hall

Photo provided by Atlanta News First

By Don Shipman, contributor 

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) — Dozens of people gathered at Atlanta City Hall Monday for Trans Day of Remembrance. Advocates, allies, and members of the trans community used this day to honor and remember trans people whose lives were cut short due to acts of violence.

Trans advocates say this day is important because it has the potential to save lives. The goal of the event, which is open to the public, is to show everyone that trans people are just like everyone else, but because of who they are, they’re all too often the target of hate crimes.

The day included panel discussions and workshops as well as several non-profits armed with health and wellness resources.

So far in 2023, 320 trans and gender-diverse people have been killed worldwide, according to the Trans Murder Monitoring Report, which tracks murders reported in the media each year. Of the vast majority of those killed, 94 percent were trans women, and most were Black. The non-profit, Destination Tomorrow, helps members of the trans community by making accessible educational, financial, housing, and health programs. They hope Monday helps everyone see the trans community for who they are – people.

“We have a memorial, a candlelight vigil at the end of the day, but we also want to highlight the positive parts about being trans. There will be trans business owners there, there will be vendors that will offer resources to the community,” said Alex Santiago of Destination Tomorrow. “So, it’s going to be a full day of activity for the general public to just come and just see that we’re just normal everyday hard-working people.”

The candlelight vigil and memorial slideshow will pay tribute to the 38 trans people who died this year in the U.S. due to violence. Two of the people listed in the slideshow are from Atlanta – Rasheeda Williams and Ashley Burton. Both women were killed within days of each other in April of this year. Atlanta Police have arrested suspects in both of those cases.

Santiago also noted anti-trans legislation that’s moved through in 20 states, including Georgia where lawmakers have been passing sweeping bans on gender-affirming care, despite the majority of medical professionals vouching for their efficacy.

“It creates fear where there isn’t any. Trans people are people. Human beings, no different from anybody else,” said Santiago.

Decaturish media partner Atlanta News First provided this story.