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(c) by Mary Griggs

The New Orleans Transgender Day of Remembrance event was held Sunday evening at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans.

Organized by the Louisiana Trans Advocates after the LGBT Community Center lost its lease, the event memorialized the 268 individuals who were murdered over the past year because of their gender identity and/or expression. It has been estimated that one trans person per month on average is killed in the United States in a hate crime murder just for being transgender.

During the event, several transgender folks shared their stories as well as involving the entire audience in the reading of all the names of the United States victims and lighting candles for many of those lost over the course of the year. Refreshments were provided by the HRC Louisiana Steering Committee.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance serves several purposes. It 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. Through the vigil, we express love and respect for our people in the face of international indifference and hatred. Day of Remembrance reminds non-transgender people that we are their sons, daughters, parents, friends and lovers. Day of Remembrance gives our allies a chance to step forward with us and stand in vigil, memorializing those who have died by anti-transgender violence.