I have the privilege of serving on North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s Commission on Inclusion with a remarkable group of people committed to equity and inclusive excellence.
One of those people is Lydia Lavelle, JD, mayor of Carrboro, a town that exemplifies inclusive excellence. Today, she and the Town of Carrboro have issued a proclamation declaring this day the 2019 Transgender Day of Remembrance in the town.
Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) was started in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. The vigil commemorated all the transgender people lost to violence since Hester’s death and began an important tradition that has become the annual day of remembrance. Events are hosted across the country in local communities by advocates, including a candlelight vigil and reading of names in Carrboro to honor those lost to anti-trans violence.
Transgender individuals have been targeted unfairly, denied services, and subjected to physical abuse and even death. They also are subjected to explicit and implicit bias, resulting in the kinds of daily stressors that undermine well-being and health. All these threats are important and unfair.
Mayor Lavelle stated in the proclamation,
I ask all residents to reflect on the challenges facing the transgender members of our community, and work to ensure that social, cultural and legislative progress continues to be made so that all people will one day be able to safely live as their full and true selves.
I urge you to read the statement below and consider how to apply it within your own life. Thank you.
The views expressed in this blog are Barbara Rimer’s alone and do not represent the views and policies of The University of North Carolina or the Gillings School.