San Diego’s Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), an event to honor those transmen and transwomen murdered within the past year, was held on Tuesday November 20th. Per custom, the event started with a candlelight march in Hillcrest, and was followed by a commemoration ceremony at the LGBT Center at 3909 Centre Street in Hillcrest.
2018 was a grim year in which 369 Transgender lives were taken worldwide. TDOR is a somber but necessary event for our community. It reminds us it’s a dangerous world for transpeople and personal safety is more important now than ever. But it also reminds us that those whose lives were snuffed out have a worldwide community that embraces them and honors their memory.
Deja Cabrera, a trans services coordinator at the Center, opened the ceremony, telling the audience “[The departed] were and are so much more than how they died. They have helped further us, are living through us, and have shed light on our struggle”.
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence continued with a blessing. Julissa King aka Coco Channel proclaimed “We continue the fight in their names until everyone can live without fear”. She also noted that transpeople are like butterflies, the “tragic heroes of nature”. Caterpillars spend a great part of their lives as ordinary beings, but then go into their caccoon and later come out in multicolored glory.
Activist Tita Viveros spoke briefly in Spanish. Among her comments, she offered thanks for these events which educate the community and help bring a better quality of life. Lady Pepper emphasized the importance of transpeople being there to support each other, and accompanied this with a soulful rendition of the song “Lean On Me”. A screen projection honored a number of slain transpeople, featuring their pictures, names and mini biographies. Several individuals read portions of their stories out loud.
Dignitaries attending included Todd Gloria (State Assembly) Toni Duran (Field Representative for Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins) and City Councilmembers Chris Ward (District 3) and Georgette Gomez (District 9). Members of the Imperial Court of San Diego were also present (Note picture above).
TDOR is a yearly San Diego event, taking place within the last ten days of November. For some grim (but necessary) details on violence against transpeople, see www.hrc.org/blog/new-report-details-epidemic-of-violence-against-transgender-people