NEW YORK — Saturday will mark Transgender Day of Rememberance, which honors the memory of those murdered in acts of anti-transgender violence.
Destination Tomorrow, an LGBTQ center in the Bronx, will hold a vigil and march Friday evening.
The organization’s founder and executive director, Sean Ebony Coleman, said his goal when he created Destination Tomorrow was to provide a safe space for people to gain financial literacy as well as find help with housing and professional development — assistance he said he did not have when he was transitioning.
“I can be here as far as who I am and never have a medical procedure, but I am telling you I am trans, I am telling you I am male. More people need to respect that. They automatically go, ‘Did you have surgeries?’” Coleman said.
Coleman has also urged lawmakers to put transgender people in their administrations to bring in more diversity and new perspectives on legislation.
Mimi Shelton said she’s also found a home at Destination Tomorrow. Shelton said she not only feels safe, but was inspired to pay it forward to those in the transgender community who need guidance.
“Here, I don’t have to explain my trans existence or why you should treat other people equitably in this space around their pronouns or their race,” she said.
According to GLAAD, 2021 has been the deadliest year recorded for transgender people, with at least 45 individuals, most of them Black or Latinx, killed.
Shelton’s goal is to remind those who follow her journey that they too are equally valid, equally justified and equally beautiful.
The week before Transgender Day of Remembrance, individuals and organizations around the country participate in Transgender Awareness Week to help raise awareness and acceptance of transgender people and address issues the community faces.
A new Pew Research Center poll found 60% of Americans believe they have never personally met someone who is transgender.
Resources for LGBTQ community: