November 20 Is Transgender Day of Remembrance

On Friday, November 20, Rehoboth TransLiance, in conjunction with Safe Harbor United Church of Christ (UCC) and the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) of Rehoboth, will hold a short drive-in vigil at 7 p.m. at Rehoboth MCC Church,19369 Plantation Road, in Rehoboth. Attendees will be able to listen to the event on the radio from the safety and security of their own vehicles. The Reverend Diane Fisher of MCC will provide a prerecorded prayer and the Reverend Chet Charbagh of UCC will lead the attendees in prayer. There will be a reading of the names of transgender people killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. This is the fourth annual Transgender Day of Remembrance vigil in Rehoboth. The vigil will feature three young local community leaders, including Jay- Xavier, a 34-year-old black trans man from Sussex County who currently works with combat veterans. Jay is also a youth mentor to the LGBTQ+ community. In addition, Mikey Shock, a 19-year-old trans woman from Baltimore, Maryland will speak. She is set to attend the University of Arizona, seeking a master’s degree in Gender and Women’s Studies with a focus on gender, trans, and sexualities studies. The University of Arizona is one of the top universities in the country for transgender studies. She intends to work toward a PhD as a counseling psychologist, primarily with transgender patients and advocates for the trans community. Also taking part will be Jazminara Aran, a young transgender woman from Seaford. She is attending Delaware Tech, currently working toward a liberal arts degree. The speakers will talk about what their community looks like, where they found their community, and what is lacking in support and services in the area. According to a variety of LGBTQ websites, The Transgender Day of Remembrance raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people. Day of Remembrance publicly mourns and honors the lives of our brothers and sisters who might otherwise be forgotten. The Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on November 28, 1998 kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999.

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