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

Red Deer songwriter draws on winter, childhood to write Games closing ceremonies song

Kayla Williams is excited to perform ‘Something Right’ March 2 at the Centrium.

House in Calgary destroyed in fire following apparent explosion, officials say

CALGARY — A house was destroyed when a fire broke out following… Continue reading

Historic win for Team Nunavut at Canada Winter Games

Four years in the making boiled down to a collection of firsts… Continue reading

Alberta missionaries among the Canadians heading home from riot-stricken Haiti

MONTREAL — A group of Canadian missionaries who were trapped in Haiti… Continue reading

Historic win for Team Nunavut at Canada Winter Games

Four years in the making boiled down to a collection of firsts… Continue reading

South African activists try to protect endangered pangolins

JOHANNESBURG — As World Pangolin Day is marked around the globe, Saturday,… Continue reading

Fourteen ‘dream’ homes ordered evacuated as sinkholes open in Sechelt, B.C.

Greg and Gerry Latham spent Friday morning scrambling to pack up family… Continue reading

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual assault: British newspaper

LONDON — A British newspaper says police in London are investigating an… Continue reading

Graham: U.S. should be stronger on Canadians detained in China

MUNICH — U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said Friday the response by the… Continue reading

Conservative leaders to attend pro-pipeline rally in Saskatchewan

By Stephanie Taylor THE CANADIAN PRESS MOOSOMIN, Sask. — Federal Tory leader… Continue reading

Games athletes making themselves at home at RDC

Red Deer College’s campus will be home for the athletes during the 2019 Canada Winter Games

Alix resident captures beams of light near Lacombe

Lacombe, Blackfalds, Red Deer photos have since gone viral around the world

Welcome message from the mayor

On behalf of Red Deer city council, the City of Red Deer… Continue reading

Most Read