Thursday, November 20, 2008

Lambda Legal Renews Vision of Justice on Transgender Remembrance Day

On Transgender Remembrance Day, Lambda Legal Executive Director Kevin Cathcart issued the following statement:

“The LGBT community is looking toward our future with tremendous hopefulness and resolve. And still, despite the vigor of our movement, too many of us are denied the most basic right: survival. On this annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, we take time to memorialize the people who died over the past year as a result of anti-transgender bigotry and hatred. When we gather at vigils, marches, and rallies around the country this Thursday, we remember Lawrence King, a 15 year old shot in the head by a classmate who took issue with Lawrence's feminine gender expression. We remember Ebony Whitaker, one of three transgender women killed in Memphis in recent months. We remember Ruby Molina, found floating in a river in Sacramento in September, and Rita Hester, whose still-unsolved 1998 murder led a grieving community to create this annual rite.

“We remember another kind of injury too often inflicted by the media in the wake of these deaths – like the newspaper headline about the February murder of Sanesha Stewart: "Fooled John Stabbed Bronx Tranny." Demeaning (or nonexistent) coverage of anti-transgender crimes adds insult to incurable injury.

“At Lambda Legal, we fight for the rights of transgender people at work, in school, and in all aspects of their daily lives. Every act of discrimination hurts, and leads to a climate where violence occurs. The fact that so many of the transgender people we have lost to violence are women of color fuels our resolve to end the racism and economic disparities that poison our society. And the fact that, year after year, we gather in late November to recite an ever-growing list of names reminds us that equality will not be ours until each one of us can be our fullest selves without fear. Our vision of justice must demand nothing less.”

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