MAPLEWOOD, NJ — In advance of Transgender Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20, Deputy Mayor Dean Dafis read the following proclamation during Tuesday's Township Committee meeting:
Guest speaker at the meeting was South Orange Maplewood Board of Education Member Shannon Cuttle, themselves a trans activist.
“2020 has been a challenging year for many, including the LGBT, transgender and non binary community," said Cuttle. "And right now, I want to say to the LGBT youth, to the transgender non-binary youth at home, and families that are watching, that you are valued, that you and your identity are validated. You matter, you are loved. You are not alone, today and every day.
"And to those that came before us, we thank you and we stand on the shoulders of our ancestors. And for those that are coming up underneath us, continue and take on these reins: We empower you, we thank you, and we are behind you, one hundred percent."
Cuttle also acknowledged the struggles of trans people in facing bias and hatred. This year “we saw the highest rate of violence against the transgender and non-binary community in 2020 — highest ever — and unfortunately now more than ever our transgender and non-binary community neighbors, friends, relatives and colleagues need our support.”
Cuttle and Dafis read the names of those lost to violence this year. They “may not be all of the names that we should amplify and acknowledge, and we give light to all of those that have been lost to anti-trans violence.”
IN LOCAL NEWS:
TAPinto SOMA is a free online newspaper serving the Townships of Maplewood and South Orange Village with no paywall. TAPinto SOMA is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.