The Empire State Pride Agenda worked with In Our Own Voices, the Capital District Gay and Lesbian Community Council, the NYS Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NYSCASA) and local advocates Moonhawk River Stone and Jaye McBride to host a Transgender Day of Remembrance Panel and Vigil in
Panelists included the family members of Lateisha Green, a young African-American trans woman shot and killed in Syracuse in 2008; Moonhawk River Stone, a longtime transgender advocate and educator; Julia Hall, Outreach Project Director for NYSCASA; and Tara Ramsey, a member of In Our Own Voices and survivor of hate violence. Ejay Carter, Transgender Rights Program Organizer for the Pride Agenda, moderated as panelists discussed their experiences--both personal and professional--with bias crimes and violence, including prevention measures. Each of the speakers spoke on ways in which their lives had been touched by violence, and yet each focused on the importance for transgender New Yorkers of being free to be who we are, regardless of transphobia and other forms of hate and discrimination.
Following the panel, attendees were led in a vigil for victims of bias crimes based on gender identity and expression by the Reverend Diane Marquit, and volunteers read out loud the names of those who had perished as a result of transphobic hate crimes in the last several years. While it was a solemn occasion to remember those who have lost their lives to bias crimes, participants also took the opportunity to come together and think about ways to move forward. Conversations around legislation followed the vigil, and participants signed letters in support of the Gender Expression Non Discrimination Act (GENDA), which would prohibit discrimination against transgender individuals in
To learn more about transgender rights in