On Tuesday, November 20, the Transgender Assistance Program of Virginia (TAP VA), LGBT Life Center, New Life Metropolitan Community Church of Hampton Roads, ODU Sexuality and Gender Alliance, PFLAG of Norfolk / South Hampton Roads, and Coastal Virginia Unitarian Universalist Church, along with members of the community, will come together to honor and remember the 22 transgender individuals nationwide who lost their lives this year to violence and assault.
The event will include prominent transgender keynote speakers, a dedication to the lives taken in 2018, and a community reception and resource fair to provide healing and commemoration.
The theme for this year’s event is “Building Bridges Within and Beyond Hampton Roads.” Through speakers, art, music, and community, we will join together to celebrate and remember our friends and family, as well as learn how to be better advocates and allies for trans people, especially trans people of color who face violence and discrimination at disproportionate rates. The public is invited to join us as we stand in solidarity and hope.
This year’s Transgender Day of Remembrance keynotes speaker is Olympia Perez, an Afro-Latinx trans woman raised in Bedford–Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. She is a poet, writer, healer, rapper, cosmetologist, actress, multimedia artist, and facilitator. Olympia’s adversity informs her deep investment in community organizing efforts with other warriors on the mission to dismantle all forms of oppression. She uplifts the rights and dignity of transgender and gender nonconforming people of color, particularly black trans people. As the content director of Black Trans Media, Olympia shifts and reframes the value of black transgender people through media, education, and community building. She has been organizing since 2006 to end the multiple forms of violence that she and members of her community experience.
During Tuesday’s event, guests will be encouraged to share their own experiences and offer support to the local transgender community in Hampton Roads.
The TDOR 2018 event will occur on Tuesday, November 20 at New Life MCC Church, 1000 Sunset Drive, Norfolk, Virginia 23503. This event is free and open to the public. The program begins at 7:00pm and will be followed by a reception for all to gather in remembrance.