A transgender day of remembrance was held in North Battleford Monday to honour the 387 known transgendered people around the world who were murdered over the last year.
The ceremony was held at Sakewew High School and the turnout was described as a “small, but enthusiastic” crowd by Battlefords Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) member BobbisueThom.
According to Thom 0.6 per cent of the Battlefords population identifies as transgender. She added the 387 deaths of transgendered in the last 12 months don’t paint the whole picture as those are just the reported deaths from 25 countries. According to her, events like the one held on Monday are needed to help spread awareness and promote acceptance.
“We exist and we have the right to exist,” Thom said. “A lot of people don’t realize that some of us are murdered just for being ourselves. For no other reason than just for being who we are. Often the murders are not well investigated either.”
Thom added transgender people are often not looked upon as even being human.
“It has been a long struggle to gain acceptance in society that we are valid and we are people. That is why it is such an important event. We have to remember those who have lost the struggle.”
Thom said the Battlefords don’t have a very big transgender presence, but she was impressed at the support they have received from the community.
“Last summer there was a Pride march in the Battlefords, which I thought was amazing in terms of acceptance. There were no real bad reactions and a lot of support. A lot of people were hooting and hollering, beeping their horns and waving at us. It was actually really supportive. Much more than I would have expected,” Thom said.
Thom said she was surprised at all the support because she believes awareness of transgender people isn’t great in the Battlefords. She added there is usually more support in the bigger cities where the LGBTQ community has a more visible presence.
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