Murray Pride hosting National Transgender Day of Remembrance event this weekend
Some western Kentuckians are marking the National Transgender Day of Remembrance this weekend.
Organizers with Murray Pride are hosting a public event Sunday at Playhouse in the Park, where attendees will participate in a ceremony remembering transgender people who have been killed over the past year. The event will begin at 6 p.m. at the Playhouse Annex on Arcadia Drive in Murray.
Local attorney Madison Leach is one of the event’s organizers. She also serves as Murray Pride’s legal counsel and acting treasurer. She became the first openly transgender person to run for a public office in Calloway County earlier this month after an unsuccessful bid for county attorney.
Leach said the event is important because it will allow the public to hear the names of the more than 30 transgender and gender-nonconforming people killed in 2022 in the U.S.
“I want them to know that trans people exist in their community,” Leach said. “I want them to remember these people as people, not just a number, when we say 33 [people]. You won't hear us say ‘there were 33 killed last year’ and then leave it at that. We are going to say their names so that they're a real person.”
National Transgender Day of Remembrance started in 1999 as a vigil to honor Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1998 at the age of 34.
The majority of transgender and gender-nonconforming people that were killed in 2022 were Black and Latinx transgender woman. In 2021, 45 transgender people killed in the United States.
Leach said the nationwide event raises awareness for the struggles transgender people go through.
“We know that all of this stems from not being able to find appropriate housing, not being able to find appropriate employment and being discriminated against in the workplace in that way,” Leach said.
Murray State Women's Center director Abigail Cox thinks the event is a valuable one for students and area residents to take part in.
“The campus has been a hub for any LGBTQ-related activities,” Cox said. “It's really awesome to see this opportunity in the community as a way for our students to get off campus, and be involved in something that's supportive of their community.”