Community Government Maplewood

Maplewood Township Recognizes Transgender Day of Remembrance, Awareness Week

The Maplewood Township Committee recognized Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) and Transgender Awareness Week on Tuesday. TDOR is this Friday, November 20; Transgender Awareness Week goes from November 13-19.

“We are still today living in an epidemic of violence against transgendered persons, especially transgendered persons of color,” said Deputy Mayor Dean Dafis. “We have to do everything we can to raise awareness, fight back against hate, and honor those who we have lost.” He reflected that in Maplewood, “we take pride that we all believe in the safety and prosperity, equality and hope [of] all who live and work in our town, and we recognize the human rights of all citizens and support an end to all forms of prejudice, discrimination, and violence.”

TDOR was started in 1999 by trans advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith, as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester. Hester was killed in 1998. Trans people are still victims of homicide in the U.S., and victims are overwhelmingly people of color. The Human Rights Campaign points out that this violence occurs “at the intersections of racism, sexism, and transphobia.”

Board of Ed member Shannon Cuttle shared a message to trans and non-binary youth and their families: “that you are valued; that you and your identity are validated; you matter, you are loved, and you are not alone, today and every day. To those that came before us: we thank you, and we stand on the shoulders of our ancestors. And for those that are coming up underneath us, and will continue [to] take on these reins: we empower you, we thank you, and we are behind you 100%.”

Shannon Cuttle speaks to the TC and to trans and non-binary youth

Cuttle continued to say that unfortunately, “2020 has been a challenging year for the transgender and non-binary community.” They cited the highest rates of anti-trans/non-binary violence ever, saying that those communities “need support now more than ever.” Cuttle invited McGehee and TC to honor the names of those we have lost to trans violence in 2020. “We say their names not just in remembrance, but…to light the path, and also to say their names in power.” 

Globally, over 300 trans people have been lost to violence this year. Cuttle and Dafis read the list of those who have been lost in the U.S.: 

  1. 28 Sep 2020, Mia Green, 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  2. 19 Sep 2020, Aerrion Burnett, 37, Independence, Missouri
  3. 15 Sep 2020, Gia Valentina Romualdo Rodríguez, 46, Miami, Florida
  4. 7 Sep 2020, Isabella Mia Lofton, 21, Brooklyn, New York
  5. 31 Aug 2020, Elie Che, 23, The Bronx, New York
  6. 26 Aug 2020, Shelley Lynn Rose, 16
  7. 13 Aug 2020, Kee Sam, 24, Lafayette, Louisiana
  8. 28 Jul 2020, Aja Raquell Rhone-Spears (“Rocky Rhone”), 32, Portland, Oregon
  9. 27 Jul 2020, Queasha Hardy, 24, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  10. 26 Jul 2020, Tiffany Harris (“Dior H Ova”), 32, The Bronx, New York
  11. 13 Jul 2020, Marilyn Monroe Cazares, 22, Brawley, California
  12. 6 Jul 2020, Angela Martinez Gómez, 42, Santa Monica, California
  13. 4 Jul 2020, Summer Taylor, 24, Seattle, Washington
  14. 3 Jul 2020, Bree Black, 27, Pompano Beach, Florida
  15. 1 Jul 2020, Shaki Peters, 32, Amite City, Louisiana
  16. 30 Jun 2020, Draya McCarty, 28, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  17. 30 Jun 2020, Merci Mack, 22, Oak Cliff, Dallas, Texas
  18. 30 Jun 2020, Tatiana Hall, 22, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  19. 25 Jun 2020, Brayla Stone, 17, Sherwood, Arkansas
  20. 13 Jun 2020, Brian Powers (“Eagle”), , Akron, Ohio
  21. 9 Jun 2020, Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, 27, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  22. 9 Jun 2020, Riah Milton, 25, Liberty Township, Cincinnati, Ohio
  23. 6 Jun 2020, Name Unknown, 16-20, Chicago, Illinois
  24. 31 May 2020, Selena Reyes-Hernandez, 37, Marquette Park, Chicago, Illinois
  25. 27 May 2020, Tony McDade, 38, Tallahassee, Florida
  26. 9 May 2020, Jayne Thompson, 33, Orchard Mesa, Colorado
  27. 6 May 2020, Helle Jae O’Regan, 20, San Antonio, Texas
  28. 3 May 2020, Nina Pop, 28, Sikeston, Missouri
  29. 11 Apr 2020, Johanna Metzger, , Baltimore, Maryland
  30. 3 Apr 2020, Henrietta Robinson, 79, Miami, Florida
  31. 1 Apr 2020, Ashley Moore, 26, Newark, New Jersey
  32. 30 Mar 2020, Lorena Borjas, 59, Queens, New York
  33. 28 Mar 2020, Lexi “Ebony” Sutton, 33, Harlem, New York
  34. 18 Mar 2020, Monica Diamond, 34, Charlotte, North Carolina
  35. 12 Mar 2020, John Scott Devore/Scottlyn Kelly Devore, 51, Augusta, Georgia
  36. 21 Feb 2020, Camila María Concepción, 28, Los Angeles, California
  37. 4 Jan 2020, Alex McCray, 22, St. Louis, Missouri
  38. 1 Jan 2020, Dustin Parker, 25, McAlester, Oklahoma
  39. 29 Dec 2019, Mia Penny, 26, Washington, D.C.
  40. 19 Dec 2019, Yahira Nesby, 33, Brooklyn, New York
  41. 18 Dec 2019, Alice Carter (“Baby Alice”), 35, Washington, D. C.
  42. 10 Dec 2019, Angel Rose Garcia, 21, Hyattsville, Maryland
  43. 7 Dec 2019, Nikki Kuhnhausen, 17, Larch Mountain, Oregon
  44. 14 Oct 2019, Brianna “BB” Hill, 30, Kansas City, Missouri
  45. 11 Oct 2019, Daphne Dorman, 44, San Francisco, California
  46. 10 Oct 2019, Christine Zephier, 23, Mankato, Minnesota
  47. 6 Oct 2019, Corbin Ray Bach, 23, Paducah, Kentucky

“The most powerful thing we can do is to say their names,” finished Dafis. “Lost to violence, but not forgotten. We honor them, we honor all those that they’ve lost, and we vow to do better, to grow closer together, and to stop this violence from continuing.”

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