Transgender Day of Remembrance event in New Orleans planned in Congo Square

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Outside City Hall, BreakOUT! announced New Orleans plans for a Transgender Day of Remembrance/Resilience/Resistance at Congo Square Nov. 20. - KAT STROMQUIST
  • KAT STROMQUIST
  • Outside City Hall, BreakOUT! announced New Orleans plans for a Transgender Day of Remembrance/Resilience/Resistance at Congo Square Nov. 20.

At its first event in 1999, a Transgender Day of Remembrance memorialized Rita Hester, a transgender woman killed in Massachusetts. Now held annually in nearly 200 cities around the world, the international Transgender Day of Remembrance recognizes victims of transphobic violence, and in its third year, an accompanying Transgender Day of Resilience serves as a call to action.

In New Orleans, those demands include access to education, health care, housing, employment and safety. New Orleans' Transgender Day of Remembrance/Resilience/Resistance event is planned for 1 p.m.-3 p.m. at Congo Square in Armstrong Park. The event — coordinated by New Orleans LGBT youth organization BreakOUT! — galvanizes New Orleans' trans and gender non-conforming youth of color to not only demand equitable, safe access to care, housing and employment but to underline the strength among them.

“We won't back down," said Nathalie Nia (Nate) Faulk in a statement. "We plan to meet unprecedented levels of repression with unprecedented levels of determination and resilience."

2016's historic levels of violence and criminalization facing LGBT communities — from the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, to gender politicization on campaign trails and in legislatures, to North Carolina's regressive "bathroom laws," as well as the election of Donald Trump and running mate Mike Pence — have spiked fears and anxiety among transgender communities, which report increased calls to hotlines in the election's wake.

Transgender people are especially vulnerable to health and workplace discrimination, homelessness, and violence, including violence from police. Organizers are calling to demand their "roses, while we're alive," and using the hashtag #givesusourroses.

"It's critical to take that space we deserve," Faulk told Gambit, adding that allies are urged to "call legislators, ask what they're doing to create housing, to create jobs for trans and queer people of color."

BreakOUT! also hosts a free legal clinic on Dec. 1. Email info@youthbreakout.org or call (504) 252-9025 for details.


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