Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Statement on Transgender Day of Remembrance

(Tuesday, November 20, 2007)
 
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the National Stonewall Democrats released the following statement in commemoration of the Transgender Day of Remembrance:
 
Today, our community remembers the those among us whose lives were lost because of the bigotry shown towards their expression of gender. Transgender Americans are routinely asked to employ a level of courage which few of us maintain. Where ignorance responds to that courage with a display of violence, our community must reward courage with a demonstration of commitment.
Violence towards transgender Americans can be dramatically reduced by affirming individual dignity through equal enforcement of employment and hate crime laws. If we are serious about reducing violence towards transgender Americans, then we must proactively work towards providing all of our community equal protection under the law. It is our actions, rather than words, which which will demonstrate our tribute.

Stonewall Democrats take our own name from an historic catalyst, the Stonewall Inn riots, an event largely created under the leadership of transgender members of our community. Today, transgender Democrats continue to demonstrate their contribution to LGBT advancement within our organization as chapter presidents, board members and officers of individual state Democratic parties.

Whenever transgender citizens are told that their inclusion hinders the advancement of the LGBT movement, our own history is ignored and strategic lessons forgotten. As we remember the lives of those we have lost, we must work to secure equal protections for our entire movement. We owe a special duty towards those whose contributions have already led to legal protections for many in our community but not for themselves. If we are to reduce violence against transgender citizens, we must reduce attempts to marginalize transgender Americans within the law and, when necessary, within our own community.
- Jon Hoadley, Executive Director
The Day of Remembrance is a tribute to the lives of transgender Americans who have lost their lives as victims of hate crimes targeting individuals based on gender identity. It is marked on November 20. Begun in 1998, the day was first organized as a vigil in San Francisco to remember the life of Rita Hester following her murder the year before. Today, the LGBT community marks this day with vigils and events across the country.
National Stonewall Democrats is the only national organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Democrats, with more than 90 local chapters across the nation. NSD is committed to working through the Democratic Party to advance the rights of all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
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