Red Deer joins in international Transgender Day of Remembrance

Every day transgender and non-binary individuals face adversity, bullying and even the threat of death and for one afternoon those who died were remembered in a somber ceremony.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance was solemnly marked by an event at Red Deer College Sunday afternoon. People shared their experiences of being transgender and facing bullying and adversity.

Lucas Gagnon, Red Deer’s Trans and Non-binary Aid Society spokesperson, called it a global memorial service. It started in 1999 in Massachusetts and was observed by hundreds of cities around the world. The day is to memorialize the people who have been murdered as a result of transphobia. In 2016, about 295 transgender individuals died as a result of violence and transphobia.

Speeches and introductions from transgender people in Red Deer, including Gagnon, started the event followed by a slideshow of those killed this year and a question and answer session.

“It builds that sense of community,” said Gagnon. “In all our speeches, there were four of them, we talked about our own experiences, how we perceive the community, what we can do to help and end with a message of hope.

“If any body who listened was a transgender person or non-binary individual, they would take away a message of hope. These are hard facts, but people are always going to have your back.”

Despite the somber speeches and slideshow, Gagnon described the question and answer as “upbeat.”

“It gave the audience not only an opportunity to ask questions to us, but to see we’re people,” said Gagnon. “They got to see us as people and not just statistics.”

With the recent election of Donald Trump in the U.S. in mind, the slideshow focused on the transgender or non-binary Americans who were killed this year.

But closer to home, Gagnon said there is still a lot of work to do in Red Deer to make it more tolerant for everyone.

The event at the college was put on in partnership with the Trans and Non-binary Aid Society and the Red Deer College Pride on Campus organizations.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Man accused of manslaughter in fatal collision testifies he was cut off

A Delburne man accused of causing a fatal collision said he was… Continue reading

Class size targets hard to reach in Red Deer

Red Deer Public Schools recently updated its average class size

Lotteries look to younger customers to increase sales

Promoting online and interactive games

Red Deer man helps light up the holidays for others

Jim Elliott’s in his 15th year of mapping the city’s most magical, lit-up homes

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

Barry Cooper: Separation has become a real possibility, thanks to Ottawa’s abuses

In the past couple of weeks, a retired senior oil executive, Gwyn… Continue reading

Sex assault trial for former gymnastics coach resumes in Sarnia

SARNIA, Ont. — The trial of a former high-ranking gymnastics coach accused… Continue reading

Victims of former ski coach Charest say they were ‘sacrificed’ by Alpine Canada

MONTREAL — A lawsuit filed Wednesday against Alpine Canada by three victims… Continue reading

Emily Blunt on the ‘daunting’ task of playing Mary Poppins

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Emily Blunt loves a challenge, and in the… Continue reading

Tommy Chong says Canada’s weed legalization has kept ‘underground market alive’

TORONTO — Tommy Chong has a pass, man. While some Canadians who… Continue reading

Apple deepens Austin ties, expands operations east and west

AUSTIN, Texas — Apple will build a $1 billion campus in Austin,… Continue reading

Trump comments upend U.S. approach to Huawei, trade talks

WASHINGTON — The United States and China have taken pains this week… Continue reading

Most Read