SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Two non-profits hosted an event at Missouri State University to mourn and remember transgenders who were killed, bullied or died by suicide.
The GLO Center and PFLAG read a list of more than 40 names and showed a slideshow displaying a photo, age and other remembrances.
Tonya Claiborne, with the GLO Center, said most of the people honored were people of color.
“That’s because the more intersections of marginalized communities describe somebody, the more difficult time that they’re going to have with injustice,” said Claiborne. “We want everybody to honor everyone.”
Claiborne says it’s important to remember transgender people who died so hate doesn’t win and to remind people that the violence or hate that someone encountered doesn’t define who they were.
2020 is the first year the GLO Center partnered with PFLAG to organize the event.
PFLAG President Andy Sun said transgender people are harassed every day.
“Someone that you know and love is transgender or gender queer,” said Sun. “And sometimes you may not even know it because they may not be out yet. And if there’s one thing that I really, really want people to know from Transgender Day of Remembrance is please do not wait for us to die. Love us while we’re here. Love us while we’re alive.”
Two people remembered were from Missouri. Sun said this was also a time to mourn the rights that transgenders don’t have right now.
The National Suicide Prevention hotline is 800-273-8255.