This evening, Shreveport community members will gather at the Centenary College Band Shell to remember and mourn transgender and gender nonconforming people who have been murdered in the previous year. They hope to draw attention to the ongoing problem of violence against the transgender community.
Transgender Day of Remembrance is observed every year in November in more than 180 cities in 20 countries around the world, including Shreveport.
"It is tragic that some people in America feel so threatened by atypical gender expressions, that they choose to murder those of us who are transgender," said Pam Raintree, an activist and board member for Louisiana Trans Advocates.
It is estimated that one trans person per month on average is killed in a hate crime in the United States. In the last year, an estimated 250 gender variant/trans people were reported murdered worldwide. The term transgender refers to people whose gender identity, expression, or behavior is different from those typically associated with their assigned sex at birth.
Sean Edwards, a leader of Shreveport Trans Advocates, said "It scares me to think that someone would kill us simply because we're trans; because we're slightly different than everyone else. But we're still people. We have families. We lead normal lives."