Transgender community to remember those who have been killed

The transgender community and allies in Des Moines will gather tonight to remember gender non-conforming individuals who have been killed in the past year.

The annual Transgender Day of Remembrance began in 1998, and is marked with vigils around the county.

One Iowa, the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights group, and Transformations, the Des Moines transgender support group, have organized the Des Moines gathering, which will be held today at 5:30 p.m. on the west steps of the Capitol building.

Leaders will read the names of those who lost their lives as a result of phobia or discrimination against gender non-conforming individuals.

“We must remember those we’ve lost,” said Sophia Stone, leader of Transformations. “Every year, we come together as a community and speak out against these senseless acts of violence. We know we have the ability to make change. We hope our efforts will gain much-needed visibility in the state of Iowa. If we can save even one life, then our efforts have been successful.”

Donna Red Wing, executive director of One Iowa, said: “Transphobia is very real. People are harassed and hurt and killed just because of who they are. We must expand transgender awareness in Iowa and throughout the country if we want the violence to stop.”

Read the article from the Des Moines Register.