REC Remembers Fallen Transgender People in Day of Remembrance Celebration

Jason A. Michael
By | 2018-11-28T16:36:54-04:00 November 28th, 2018|Michigan, News|

About 20 people came out on Tuesday, Nov. 20, for a Transgender Day of Remembrance service at the Ruth Ellis Center in Highland Park. The service was designed to be an intimate conversation among trans women and men of color.
“I really wanted to make sure that I took the time out to honor our transgender women and men of color, solely because most of the time when it comes to us honoring and making sure we remember our fallen people of color, a lot of people don’t realize how traumatizing it is to hear that someone has fallen but there’s no exposure,” said Brandi Smith, transgender coordinator at Ruth Ellis Center and organizer of the service. “They don’t get [media] coverage. Most of the time that’s what happens to people in our community.”
According to the Gender-Identity Network Alliance, there were nearly 30 transgender men and women killed violently over the past year in the U.S. Of that number, the majority were people of color.
“Personally, as a trans women of color, I think it’s very important that we have spaces like this where we can come together and talk to each other,” said Tiffany Richardson of the Corktown Health Center. “Times like these are a call to a major shift in the relationships among trans men and women of color, the way that we as a community and as a people see ourselves and the way that we see each other.
“The numbers are in,” Richardson continued. “And it’s obvious that we are targets.”
But for this service, the emphasis was on not anger or fear, but respect for those whose lives had been senselessly ended.
“I’m very happy to be here to honor our transcesters today,” said community activist Emani Love. “Our beautiful sisters and brothers who have fallen, they did not get what they deserved.”

About the Author:

Jason A. Michael
Jason A. Michael earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Wayne State University before joining Between The Lines as a contributing writer in 1999. Jason has received both the Spirit of Detroit Award (presented by the Detroit City Council) and the Media Award from the Community Pride Banquet & Awards Ceremony for his writing and activism. Jason is also an Essence magazine bestselling author having written the authorized biography "Strength Of A Woman: The Phyllis Hyman Story," which he released on his own JAM Books imprint.