Numerous speakers praised the resilience of transgender people. Others addressed the need for lesbian, gay and bisexual people — the LGB — to understand and fight for the T in the overall movement for equality.
Atlanta Police Department LGBT liaison Officer Brian Sharp talked about the discrimination he and his partner, Daniel, face from within the gay community because Daniel identifies as gender queer.
“We get the stares and the comments and the threats and the confrontations while we’re just simply trying to live our lives. When we try to use a public restroom or order popcorn in a movie theater,” Sharp said.
“But the sad fact is it’s not just the world out there. This marginalization and discrimination takes place within our own community. In order for us to have equality amongst the masses we have to make sure we have equality within our own community,” he said.
Cheryl Courtney-Evans, founder of Transgender Individuals Living Their Truth, said attending Transgender Day of Remembrance does not make one a transgender activist. It is an ongoing war for equality for trans and gender non-conforming people that must be continued every day, she said.
“When I think of this evening of memorializing of our dead, lighting the candle, reading the names, I have to wonder, ‘What do we do when it is over?’ Is it just another event that we’ve attended? I hope to think not,” she said. “I hope to think that we go forward from this evening teaching those who don’t know.”
Photo by Dyana Bagby