Transgender Day of Remembrance observed in Grand Island

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - November 20 is Transgender Day of Remembrance, recognizing those who were killed over the last year due to their identity.

A Grand Island church hosted a vigil in recognition of Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Since November of 2018, 29 trans people in the United States have been killed due to their identity.

Grand Island PFLAG held the vigil at the United Congregational Church in Grand Island on Wednesday evening, lighting candles and lifting up the names of those lost. A slide show with their names presented their pictures to those attending. Organizers said this helps to put a face of reality to a list of people spread all across the country.

Within the LGBTQ community, transgender people have the highest rates of violence, and that is also skewed toward people of color. The violent deaths of most of the people named were killed through gun violence, and a range of other causes were listed as well.

"It's a very important day for the transgender community, and for the LGBTQ community and its allies to remember those lives that are lost." Chrissy Brooks is the Secretary for Grand Island PFLAG, and she conducted most of the service. She closed the evening charging those present to use the privilege they have to advocate and support those in the trans community.

Reverend Steve Mitchell of the United Congregational Church said that many people may encounter a transgender person, but not realize it. Events like the vigil held at his church can raise community awareness of the hardships Trans people face. "When we think about thirty people who have been killed strictly because of their gender identity, not being in sync with their physical identity, it's a frightening thought."