The Pride Report

Candlelight Service in Moose Jaw to Honour Lives Lost to Transphobia

Above: Community members gather on Friday to witness the Mayor’s proclamation of Transgender Day of Remembrance in Moose Jaw.

Transgender Day of Remembrance will again be commemorated in Moose Jaw with a candlelight service on Friday, November 20 at St. Andrew’s United Church.

Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) is an internationally recognized day to memorialize those who have died by suicide or who were murdered as a result of transphobia and to bring attention to the continued violence endured by the transgender community.

Transphobia is a range of antagonistic attitudes and feelings against transgender and gender non-conforming people.

Nillin Dennison, Gender Diversity Representative for Moose Jaw Pride and one of the lead organizers for the event, described the importance of TDoR: “It serves as a memorial service that gives the victims of suicide and murder the funeral they deserve, in a way that doesn’t erase or invalidate their authentic identities or experiences.”

Leelah Alcorn, a transgender teen whose suicide last year attracted international attention, was not recognized as a woman by her family at her funeral or on her tombstone.

While there are many difficulties with tracking these statistics, over the past 7 years more than 1,700 transgender murders have been reported by the Trans Murder Monitoring Project. Similarly, according to the project, 271 trans people lost their lives to homicide in the past year alone.

While the day is certainly emotionally difficult for the LGBTQ community, Dennison also points to the possibility of change that comes with this event: “Hopefully, it opens up conversation to discuss ways that communities can address systemic violence and transphobia through education and awareness.”

Confirmed guests for Moose Jaw’s second annual TDoR event include: Rick Bourassa, Chief of Police for the Moose Jaw Police Service; Della Ferguson, Director of the Journey to Hope Walk for Suicide Awareness and Prevention; as well as Dustan Hlady, federal NDP representative in Moose Jaw-Lake Centre-Lanigan.

The memorial event will feature socializing, a candlelight service, and a musical performance by local artist, Megan Nash.

The event begins with socializing at 6:30pm at St. Andrew’s United Church, followed by the service at 7:00pm. Anyone wanting to pay their respects is welcome to attend.

For more information, please contact:

Nillin Dennison
Gender Diversity Representative, Moose Jaw Pride


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