Through Trans Day of Remembrance, Denton honors the lives of people lost to violence

Through Trans Day of Remembrance, Denton honors the lives of people lost to violence

Through Trans Day of Remembrance, Denton honors the lives of people lost to violence
November 21
12:23 2018

More than 75 people showed up to the Denton County Courthouse Tuesday evening to honor the lives of transgender people who have lost their lives to violence.

Trans Day of Remembrance, honored on Nov. 20, was held in Denton beginning at 7 p.m. and lasted about an hour.

Daniel Bryant-Gawne, 33, is the chapter director for the Denton chapter of Trans-cendence and is a transgender man. He helped organize this year’s Trans Day of Remembrance along with the UNT Pride Alliance and Denton OUTReach.

“I think it’s important for visibility,” he said about the importance of Trans Day of Remembrance. “I feel like the more trans people are known about and the general public is educated about them, the less fearful society will become.”

Bryant-Gawne said visibility is important to normalize the transgender community and combat the fear that exists.

“Ignorance leads to fear and fear leads to hate and hate leads to violence,” Bryant-Gawne said. “If you can cut it off at the ignorance part, then that will keep it from getting into hate and violence.”

The event began with opening remarks and a brief history of Trans Day of Remembrance, before inviting a couple people to give reflections. After the reflections, speakers began to read the names of the people killed.

Candles were passed out to attendees while the names were being read. In front of the microphone, there was a transgender flag with small candles lining the edges and a big candle in the middle.

There were 368 names in total and Bryant-Gawne stressed the fact that these were only the names of the reported deaths.

“368 names,” he said during his remarks following the reading. “That’s a lot. It’s really heavy to stand here and to listen to them, to say them, but their names deserve to be heard and recognized.”

During the closing remarks, the largest candle, placed on the transgender flag in front of the microphone, was lit.

The event officially ended after the reading of the names and a moment of silence.

Once the event ended, attendees hugged each other, some drying their tears.

Eja Golinski, a 54-year-old office worker, attended Denton’s Trans Day of Remembrance to show support.

“It’s important to stand up,” she said when asked why it is important to honor Trans Remembrance Day. “We’re all human.” 

Lauren Monroe, a 38-year-old homemaker, is transgender and said this event is a tough one for her to come to and that she does not generally attend.

“It’s a somber day,” Monroe said. “It’s a day that I dread every year. But here we are and we have each other to lean on and maybe that’s the important thing.”

Monroe said she decided to come to this year’s Trans Day of Remembrance because she felt a stronger need for her community.

“I’m a trans person and I’m also the mother of a trans person,” she said. “It’s terribly, terribly important to me to show solidarity and show that we’re not going to go away, we’re not going to be frightened into disappearing. We exist.”

Monroe said she thinks the political climate puts emphasis on events that bring the transgender community together, like Trans Day of Remembrance.

“It’s quite clear to me that people in general are being made to be afraid,” Monroe said. “It’s politically expedient to make people afraid. But the consequences of making people afraid are real. People are dying because of that fear.”

Monroe said people who engage in fearmongering will never have to feel the effects of it, unlike her.

“I think it’s very important to be active [in] standing up against that,” she said.

Featured Image: The Denton community gathered at the Denton County Courthouse for Trans Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20. Candles were lit and people were invited to speak in honor of the 368 people who died in the trans community. Lizzy Spangler

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Lizzy Spangler

Lizzy Spangler

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