NEWARK —  Names of transgender and gender non-conforming people lost to violence and suicide in 2019 were read aloud on the steps of Newark Public Library on Nov. 20.

The Newark LGBTQ Community Center held the candlelight vigil as part of Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Beatrice Simpkins, the center’s executive director, noted that most of the names read were women under the age of 30. She said in Texas alone in the last five years, 15 trans women have been killed.

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“This is happening all over the country,” Simpkins said. “We need to speak about it, we need to fight for their memories, we need to do what we can to make our societies and our systems change so we don’t have to have these kinds of vigils."

“Murders, violence and the prejudice will end because of love and because of the work that we all do as individual people,” she said.

The crowd repeated after Rev. Elder Kevin Taylor, Unity Fellowship Church Newark pastor, as he said, “We’re all we’ve got and we’re all we need.”

“We matter when we say we matter,” Taylor said. “Remember a sister whose life was treated as if it didn’t matter.”

Angela Raine, volunteer of the center, initiated the evening of remembrance and reflection as each attendee read aloud the name of a slain sister.