November 15, 2011 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Transgender activists to hold D.C. Day of Action, Day of Remembrance

Local transgender activists were scheduled to hold a protest outside D.C. police headquarters at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17, and the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance on Sunday, Nov. 20, at the Metropolitan Community Church of Washington at 474 Ridge Street, N.W.

Billed as a Transgender Day of Action, the protest at police headquarters at 300 Indian Avenue, N.W., was aimed at highlighting what organizers say is a “culture of transphobia and homophobia that exists within the MPD [Metropolitan Police Department of D.C.], city government, and D.C.’s federally administered justice system.”

A statement released by the recently formed D.C. coalition called TLGB Police Watch, which initiated the protest, says participants at the event planned to point out that police have failed to curtail an alarmingly high rash of violent assaults against and murders of transgender people in D.C. over the past several years. The statement notes that one in seven murders of transgender people in the U.S. takes place in D.C. and that D.C. police make arrests in just 20 percent of crimes against transgender residents compared to an 80 percent arrest rate for non-trans crime victims.

“[W]e will take to the sidewalks and street to expose publicly this national shame to every American, and in this way also participate in remembering and honoring the many trans folk who have laid down their lives in the struggle for dignity and equality,” the statement says.

“On their behalf, we will hand-deliver to our city and federal officials, including MPD, a set of specific, written demands with date certain expectations signaling unrelenting public pressure until they take the serious, emergency measures this urgent crisis warrants,” the statement says.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance at the MCC Church on Sunday is part of a national commemoration of transgender victims of crime and violence, including murder that takes places in cities and states across the country.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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