MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Please join us for a Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil on Saturday, November 23 at Ricalton Square, beginning at 4:30 pm. The international day of Transgender Remembrance, held this year on Nov. 20, is when we remember and honor all the transgender and gender non-conforming lives we lost this past year to anti-transgender violence and to suicide. 

We unequivocally support our transgender and gender non-conforming community and are fully committed to their acceptance, equality, visibility, and safety — trans rights are human rights, trans lives matter!  Bigotry and violence will not erase LGBTQIA persons in Maplewood.  We call upon the New Jersey Legislature to ban the gay and trans panic legal defense which legitimizes and excuses sexual violence, even murder, against LGBTQ victims.  And, we reflect and honor the incomparable trans activist Babs Siperstein on her birthday today - Happy Birthday, Babs, we miss you, your courageous visibility and advocacy made it easier for others to truly see trans persons and for laws to offer them full and equal personhood that reflects their truth.  

"In the face of indifference, hatred, and staggering violence that is reaching epidemic levels — especially against trans and non binary persons of color — shout their names out loud. They will not be forgotten. Love, accept, and honor those still with us, join hands in fighting transphobia and violence, in educating and promoting acceptance, in empowering our youth, in creating a society where trans and non binary persons can live and prosper freely and safely," said Maplewood Committee member Dean Dafis, the town's first out elected LGBTQ representative.

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Transgender and gender-diverse persons face alarming higher rates of discrimination, violence and bullying. In the past year alone in the United States we have lost 28 transgender and gender-diverse persons and 369 worldwide due to anti-trans violence. Transgender people of color especially Black trans women experience devastating higher rates of violence and discrimination. 

"On International Transgender Day of Remembrance held every November 20th since 1999, we bring attention to anti-transgender violence, bias, stigma, discrimination, and prejudice that many in the trans and gender-diverse community face around the world. We celebrate life, remember and honor those lost to anti-trans violence - and lift up trans and gender-diverse voices to raise visibility and awareness. We speak out in solidarity with our transgender and gender-diverse family, friends, youth, neighbors and greater community and stand resolute against all forms of violence, hate, oppression and discrimination.”