Category Archives: death

Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil Announced for Columbus

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts:
Gloria McCauley, BRAVO
(614) 294-7867
1-866-86-BRAVO

Shane Morgan, TransOhio
(614) 441-8167
TransOhio@transohio.org

Columbus, Ohio – October 4, 2010 – Local and statewide organizations announce the 12th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance is held in November each year to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. Although not every person represented during the Day of Remembrance self-identified as transgender, each was a victim of violence based on bias or prejudice against transgender people.

The list of deaths available at http://www.rememberingourdead.org only contains those deaths known to the transgender community or that have been reported to the media. The Day of Remembrance is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Rita Hester’s murder — like most anti-transgender murder cases — has yet to be solved.

This year’s vigil will take place on Thursday, November 18, beginning at 7:00 p.m. at King Avenue United Methodist Church, located at 299 King Avenue, Columbus, 43201. King Avenue United Methodist Church is handicap accessible. The vigil will be ASL interpreted.

Remember. Honor. Empower.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance is intended to raise public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people, an action that current media does not perform. Day of Remembrance publicly mourns and honors the lives of transgender people who might otherwise be forgotten. Through the vigil, we express love and respect in the face of national indifference and hatred. Day of Remembrance gives transgender people and their allies a chance to step forward and stand in vigil, memorializing those who have died by anti-transgender violence.

Community Partners include: TransOhio, Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization (BRAVO), King Avenue United Methodist Church, North Congregational United Church of Christs’ Gender Fold Action Alliance, New Leaf Columbus, Stonewall Columbus, The Ohio State University GLBT Alumni Society, Equality Ohio, HRC-Columbus, Columbus AIDS Task Force, The Ohio State University Multicultual Center.

If your organization or community group would like to become a community partner, please contact TDOR Co-Chair Karen at karenp@transohio.org.

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Planning Committee Members Needed: Transgender Day of Remembrance (Columbus)

Memorial Candles at 2009 Transgender Day of Remembrance

UPDATED: Monday, September 20, 2010. 6:30PM – Location & Date Updated.

TransOhio and Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) Planning Committee members will hold their first meeting on Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 6:30PM – Stonewall Columbus, 1160 N. High Street, Columbus, 43201.

If you or your organization or group would like to be a part of this year’s vigil, please plan to attend. Committee members are welcome regardless of gender identity or expression and sexual orientation.  All are welcome.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance is held in November each year to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-Transgender hatred or prejudice.  Even though not every person represented during the Day of Remembrance self-identified as Transgender, each was a victim of violence based on bias or prejudice against Transgender people.

The remembrance vigil was started in 1999 after the brutal murder of Rita Hester.  She was murdered on November 28, 1998.  Twelve years later, Rita’s murder remains unsolved.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance is intended to raise public awareness of hate crimes against Transgender people, an action that current media doesn’t perform. Day of Remembrance publicly mourns and honors the lives of Transgender people who might otherwise be forgotten. Through the vigil, we express our love and our respect in the face of national indifference and hatred. Day of Remembrance gives Transgender people and their allies a chance to step forward and stand in vigil, memorializing those who have died by anti-Transgender violence.

1st Transgender Day of Remembrance Planning Meeting

Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Stonewall Columbus (1st Floor)
1160 N. High Street
Columbus 43201

If you have any questions or would like to be a part of the Planning Committee, please email Karen at karenp@transohio.org.  If you are outside of Columbus and are interested in hosting a local Transgender Day of Remembrance, please contact us.

Transgender Day of Remembrance to be Observed Around Ohio

Next week, all over the world, communities will be holding vigils to remember those from our community who’ve been taken from us because of transphobia and hatred. Transgender Day of Remembrance events will be held in Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland. Please plan to attend one of these vigils.

Let’s stand in solidarity!

Columbus
11th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance
Thursday, November 19, 2009
7:00pm – 9:00pm
King Avenue United Methodist Church
299 King Avenue
Columbus, OH 43201

614-441-8167
transohio@gmail.com

King Avenue United Methodist Church is handicap accessible. This service will be ASL interpretered by Harold Simons.

Community Partners: TransOhio, KYC, Columbus AIDS Task Force, The Center on High, BRAVO, OSU GLBT Alumni Association, OSU Multicultural Center, Equality Ohio, First Unitarian Universalist Church, HRC @ OSU, King Avenue United Methodist Church, HRC-Columbus, Westerville Equality, North Congregational United Church of Christ, Outlook.

Cleveland
The LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland
Friday, November 20, 2009
6:00pm – 10:00pm
Cleveland City Hall – Rotunda

Join us for the Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. We will remember those who have lost their lives to the violence of transphobia this year and celebrate the progress that is being made towards trans-inclusion.

6pm Meet at the Free Stamp (Lakeside & E. 9th St.) for a Candle Light Vigil to City Hall.
6:30pm Candlelight Vigil
6:45pm City Hall Rotunda – Program
8pm After Party at Bounce/Union Station

Cincinnati
National Transgender Day of Remembrance Program & Candlelight Vigil
Friday, November 20, 2009
7:30pm – 9:00pm
New Spirit Metropolitan Community Church
4033 Hamilton Ave
Cincinnati, OH

Join us in observance of National Transgender Day of Remembrance. Throughout the world, people gather this day every year to pay respect to those needlessly killed by hate crimes against the transgender community, and to call attention to the threat of violence faced by gender-variant people.

The program includes a service of musical selections and reflections from the community, ending with a candlelight vigil to honor those who have been victims of violence. Please contact Joe Poynter at joypoy1950@zoomtown or Paula Ison at paulaison@hotmail.com or call New Spirit Metropolitan Community Church at 513-661-6464 if you have any questions.

Sponsored by New Spirit Metropolitan Community Church and HRC Greater Cincinnati.

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT AT RECEPTION COMMEMORATING THE ENACTMENT OF THE MATTHEW SHEPARD AND JAMES BYRD, JR. HATE CRIMES PREVENTION ACT

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release                                                        October 28, 2009

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
AT RECEPTION COMMEMORATING THE ENACTMENT OF THE MATTHEW SHEPARD AND JAMES BYRD, JR. HATE CRIMES PREVENTION ACT
East Room

5:45 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you so much, everybody.  Thank you so much, and welcome to the White House.

There are several people here that I want to just make mention of because they helped to make today possible.  We’ve got Attorney General Eric Holder.  (Applause.)  A champion of this legislation, and a great Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.  (Applause.)  My dear friend, senior Senator from the great state of Illinois, Dick Durbin.  (Applause.)  The outstanding Chairman of Armed Services, Carl Levin.  (Applause.)  Senator Arlen Specter.  (Applause.)  Chairman of the Judiciary Committee in the House, Representative John Conyers.  (Applause.)  Representative Barney Frank.  (Applause.)  Representative Tammy Baldwin.  (Applause.)  Representative Jerry Nadler.  (Applause.)  Representative Jared Polis.  (Applause.)  All the members of Congress who are here today, we thank you.

Mr. David Bohnett and Mr. Tom Gregory and the David Bohnett Foundation — they are partners for this reception.  Thank you so much, guys, for helping to host this.  (Applause.)

And finally, and most importantly, because these were really the spearheads of this effort  — Denis, Judy, and Logan Shepard. (Applause.)  As well as Betty Byrd Boatner and Louvon Harris  — sisters of James Byrd, Jr.  (Applause.)

To all the activists, all the organizers, all the people who helped make this day happen, thank you for your years of advocacy and activism, pushing and protesting that made this victory possible.   

You know, as a nation we’ve come far on the journey towards a more perfect union.  And today, we’ve taken another step forward.  This afternoon, I signed into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.  (Applause.)

This is the culmination of a struggle that has lasted more than a decade.  Time and again, we faced opposition.  Time and again, the measure was defeated or delayed.  Time and again we’ve been reminded of the difficulty of building a nation in which we’re all free to live and love as we see fit.  But the cause endured and the struggle continued, waged by the family of Matthew Shepard, by the family of James Byrd, by folks who held vigils and led marches, by those who rallied and organized and refused to give up, by the late Senator Ted Kennedy who fought so hard for this legislation — (applause) — and all who toiled for years to reach this day.

You understood that we must stand against crimes that are meant not only to break bones, but to break spirits — not only to inflict harm, but to instill fear.  You understand that the rights afforded every citizen under our Constitution mean nothing if we do not protect those rights — both from unjust laws and violent acts.  And you understand how necessary this law continues to be.

In the most recent year for which we have data, the FBI reported roughly 7,600 hate crimes in this country.  Over the past 10 years, there were more than 12,000 reported hate crimes based on sexual orientation alone.  And we will never know how many incidents were never reported at all.

And that’s why, through this law, we will strengthen the protections against crimes based on the color of your skin, the faith in your heart, or the place of your birth.  We will finally add federal protections against crimes based on gender, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation.  (Applause.) And prosecutors will have new tools to work with states in order to prosecute to the fullest those who would perpetrate such crimes.  Because no one in America should ever be afraid to walk down the street holding the hands of the person they love.  No one in America should be forced to look over their shoulder because of who they are or because they live with a disability.

At root, this isn’t just about our laws; this is about who we are as a people.  This is about whether we value one another — whether we embrace our differences, rather than allowing them to become a source of animus.  It’s hard for any of us to imagine the mind-set of someone who would kidnap a young man and beat him to within an inch of his life, tie him to a fence, and leave him for dead.  It’s hard for any of us to imagine the twisted mentality of those who’d offer a neighbor a ride home, attack him, chain him to the back of a truck, and drag him for miles until he finally died.

But we sense where such cruelty begins:  the moment we fail to see in another our common humanity — the very moment when we fail to recognize in a person the same fears and hopes, the same passions and imperfections, the same dreams that we all share.

We have for centuries strived to live up to our founding ideal, of a nation where all are free and equal and able to pursue their own version of happiness.  Through conflict and tumult, through the morass of hatred and prejudice, through periods of division and discord we have endured and grown stronger and fairer and freer.  And at every turn, we’ve made progress not only by changing laws but by changing hearts, by our willingness to walk in another’s shoes, by our capacity to love and accept even in the face of rage and bigotry.

In April of 1968, just one week after the assassination of Martin Luther King, as our nation mourned in grief and shuddered in anger, President Lyndon Johnson signed landmark civil rights legislation.  This was the first time we enshrined into law federal protections against crimes motivated by religious or racial hatred — the law on which we build today.

As he signed his name, at a difficult moment for our country, President Johnson said that through this law “the bells of freedom ring out a little louder.”  That is the promise of America.  Over the sounds of hatred and chaos, over the din of grief and anger, we can still hear those ideals — even when they are faint, even when some would try to drown them out.  At our best we seek to make sure those ideals can be heard and felt by Americans everywhere.  And that work did not end in 1968.  It certainly does not end today.  But because of the efforts of the folks in this room — particularly those family members who are standing behind me — we can be proud that that bell rings even louder now and each day grows louder still.

So thank you very much.  God bless you and God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)

END                 5:53 P.M. EDT

History in the Making

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NOTE TO MEDIA: As President Obama today signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the following 29 organizations issued this joint statement:

History in the Making

It took much too long, more than a decade. And it came at too great a price: the brutal killings of Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. are just two among the thousands of crimes motivated by hate and bigotry.

But this week, the president put pen to paper and fulfilled a campaign promise, the signing of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, extending the federal hate crimes statute to include sexual orientation and gender identity along with race, religion, gender, national origin and disability. Our deepest hope and strong belief is that this new law will save lives. Now, lawmakers and the president have made an imperative statement to the country and the world: Our nation will no longer tolerate hate-motivated violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

We have worked long and hard for this and its passage is historic.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, there are nearly 8,000 hate crime-related incidents annually, and more than 1,200 of those incidents involve violence based on sexual orientation or gender identity. And even more alarming, while the overall occurrence of hate crimes is declining nationally, hate crimes against LGBT people have been increasing. This year alone, we saw hate crimes trials in the brutal killings of two transgender women, Angie Zapata and Lateisha Green.

As a result of this legislation, if local jurisdictions are unable or unwilling to investigate or prosecute hate crimes based on sexual orientation or gender identity, the Justice Department can now step in. And that’s why the LGBT community never stopped working for this historic day.

This legislation not only has practical value, but is a symbol of our progress. It is the first time in the nation’s history that Congress has passed explicit protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. We could not have reached this moment without the powerful support of our allies who stood with us every step of the way. We are deeply grateful to civil rights, civic, faith and disability rights groups, as well as law enforcement and district attorney organizations that worked side by side with the LGBT advocates. We are equally thankful to Congress, President Obama and members of his administration for passing and signing this bill into law.

While today we celebrate this marker of progress, we must recognize it as only one of the building blocks to full equality and demand that it be just a first step toward equal treatment under federal law in all areas of our lives. And we must focus on the next step.

The passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act provides us with an opportunity. We must use this moment to educate and keep the momentum going so that we can continue to make progress on the local, state and federal levels. Yes, legislation takes a long time — often years of work. Yet, our community is on the cusp of passing much-needed protections.

This week, we call upon lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, families and allies to take this opportunity of increased media and public attention on hate crimes to educate co-workers, classmates, neighbors, family members and friends about our lives, and about why we need not only their friendship and love, but their vocal support for a more just and equal America for LGBT people. If your members of Congress voted in support of hate crimes legislation, call them and thank them. Then ask them to be there for us again when the vote turns to workplace nondiscrimination, military service and partnership rights.

With your help and our collective pressure, equality is within reach.

When talking about the need for hate crimes legislation, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: “The time for debate is over.”

She was right.

Just as the time has finally come for stronger hate crime protections, it is also time to pass an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act, repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, and ensure that health care, economic policy and immigration reform incorporate the needs of LGBT people.

The time for debate is over.

Signed by:

Jo Kenny, AFL-CIO Pride at Work
Terry Stone, Centerlink: The Community of LGBT Centers
Gabe Javier, Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals
Marianne Duddy-Burke, DignityUSA
Toni Broaddus, Equality Federation
Jennifer Chrisler, Family Equality Council
Evan Wolfson, Freedom to Marry
Lee Swislow, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders
Rebecca Allison, M.D., Gay & Lesbian Medical Association
Chuck Wolfe, Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund
Eliza Byard, Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network
Marjorie Hill, Gay Men’s Health Crisis
Joe Solmonese, Human Rights Campaign
Rachel Tiven, Immigration Equality
Earl Fowlkes, International Federation of Black Prides
Kevin M. Cathcart, Lambda Legal
Leslie Calman, Mautner Project: The National Lesbian Health Organization
Sharon Lettman, National Black Justice Coalition
Kate Kendell, National Center for Lesbian Rights
Mara Keisling, National Center for Transgender Equality
Justin Nelson, National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
Rea Carey, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Paul Kawata, National Minority AIDS Council
Kyle Bailey, National Stonewall Democrats
Greg Varnum, National Youth Advocacy Coalition
Sharon Stapel, New York Anti-Violence Project
Jody Michael Huckaby, PFLAG National
Aubrey Sarvis, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
Michael Adams, Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)