To continue losing these members of our family to senseless, bigoted violence is a national tragedy. While we continue to make progress on the civil rights and safety of transgender and gender non-conforming individual—such as the Massachusetts’ legislature recent passage of a transgender civil rights bill—we must call attention to the severe, devastating inequalities facing transgender and gender non-conforming Americans across what should be the land of the free. In New York State, we have yet to follow the 16 states which have gone before us in passing a gender expression non-discrimination bill. In our state, we still have New Yorkers who are denied the status of protected class, and discriminated against in housing, employment and credit among other areas. These inequalities, that transgender and other gender non-conforming people are not treated and protected equally under the law, must and will be addressed, so that we may all do everything we can to stop the loss of any transgender person to hate violence again.
“As Stonewall Democrats, we remain committed to working tirelessly to achieve the passage of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) in NYS and, ultimately, an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) at the federal level,” said Bryan Ball, SDWNY president. “The loss of our people, the members of our LGBTQ family, who we remember on this 13th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, can never be amended. In the face of such unspeakable violent tragedy, it is often difficult to find positive action we must take. But we must honor the memory of these individuals, and work to achieve full transgender and gender expression civil rights, so that we may do all we can to prevent such tragedies from happening in the future.”
We invite you to join the WNY LGBTQ community on Monday night, November 21, for our Transgender Day of Remembrance Service. The service will be held in Buffalo, at Buffalo United Artists, 119 Chippewa, beginning at 7PM.