LGBTQ+ community holds Transgender Day of Remembrance in Asbury Park

The event is held in remembrance of those who were slain in senseless acts of anti-transgender violence.

News 12 Staff

Nov 20, 2022, 11:28 PM

Updated 600 days ago

Share:

Members of the LGBTQ+ community gathered in Asbury Park Sunday to mark Transgender Day of Remembrance.
The event is held in remembrance of those who were slain in senseless acts of anti-transgender violence.
The mood at the event was a somber one as the shooting at a Colorado gay nightclub that killed five early Sunday morning weighed heavily on the minds and hearts of attendees. Many expressed their solidarity with the victims.
Transgender Day of Remembrance was first commemorated in 1999, a year after the murder of Rita Hester, a transgender Black woman in Allston, Massachusetts. Her death inspired the day, and as part of Sunday's commemoration, the names of transgender people who were killed in the past year were read aloud. Organizers hope to push a message of unity.
Sunday's Transgender Day of Remembrance event in Asbury Park almost didn't happen after news of the Colorado shooting. Some speculated that the day of remembrance was the gunman's motive, but members of the LGBTQ+ community in Asbury Park chose to move forward with the event to honor the transgender lives lost in acts of hate and violence.
"We just have to somehow stick together and keep getting the message out that we're better for being who we are and we belong here. We've always been here. This is not something new," said organizer Dr. Geena Buono.
"It's important to actually always remember the people that have lost their lives, living their lives authentically. It's important to remember who they are, the lives that they lived and it's important for us to speak their names," said Sabrina Rondeau, of Asbury Park.
"It was even more important that we did show up today to let people know that we're not going to shy away, that we're going to come forth and hold our treasured day of remembrance, regardless of what the motives of hateful people are out there," Buono said.
"We have to become a community that protects each other, no matter where you come from," Rondeau said.
Earlier this week, Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order making name changes in New Jersey's confidential to protect the rights of transgender people.
"New Jersey is one of the first in the nation that has passed a bill like this, and as we continue to uplift our trans community and fight and advocate for protections for trans individuals, this is a huge step in the right direction," said Brielle Winslow-Majette, of Garden State Equality.
As an added safety measure, Garden State Equality LGBTQ+ liaisons partnered with local law enforcement to ensure municipalities who held Transgender Day of Remembrance events had law enforcement present if they requested it.


More from News 12