TONIGHT: Transformations Iowa to Host Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil

Monday, November 20 is Transgender Day of Remembrance. This day is devoted to remembering and honoring the people who have lost their lives to transphobic violence. Transformations Iowa, a support group for transgender and non-binary people, will host a vigil at 5:30 p.m. on the west Capitol steps to read the names of those killed and mourn as a community.

“Tonight, the transgender community will honor everyone who has lost their life to the senseless violence we face,” Transformations Iowa President Sophia Stone said. “This includes the people we lost to murder and everyone who was driven to take their own life.

“Despite all the hatred we face, I know trans people will continue to live their lives to the fullest. We will laugh, fight, and love so the world will know how incredible we are.”

“Transgender Day of Remembrance is a day where we should reflect and take action to end the cycle of violence that transgender people, and transgender women of color especially, experience,” One Iowa Executive Director Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel said. “Here in Iowa, gender identity and gender expression are not protected classes in our state’s hate crimes law. State authorities were unable to charge Kedarie Johnson’s killer with a hate crime because of this gaping hole in Iowa’s legal protections.

“I urge Iowans to honor Kedarie’s memory by contacting their legislators. Urge them to add these crucial protections to our state’s hate crimes law.”

According to the Human Rights Campaign, at least 25 transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people have lost their lives to transphobic violence in the United States in 2017. This is the largest number of deaths traced to transphobia ever recorded in one year.

The vigil is open to press and public.