January 30, 2020 at 6:00 am EST | by Philip Van Slooten
Va. House of Delegates approves Transgender Day of Remembrance resolution
transgender, Gender Conference East, trans, transgender flag, gay news, Washington Blade
(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The Virginia House of Delegates on Wednesday passed a resolution that designates Nov. 20 as the Transgender Day of Remembrance in Virginia.

House Joint Resolution 85, introduced by state Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas), passed with a vote of 58-23, to which she tweeted, “The vote tally speaks for itself.”

The text of the resolution itself honors trans and gender non-conforming victims of violence in the U.S. and internationally, particularly noting a majority of those killed in the U.S. were African American and were victims of gun violence.

Also commemorated were Gwendolyn Ann Smith, who organized the first Transgender Day of Remembrance to honor the unsolved murder of Rita Hester, an African American trans woman, and Dustin Parker, a white trans man who was killed in Oklahoma on Jan. 1.

The Human Rights Campaign’s website has a page memorializing Parker that states, “These victims are not just numbers or headlines. They are real people worthy of dignity and respect, of life and love.”

Virginia’s HJ 85 further states the importance of this resolution and other forms of recognition of ongoing violence against trans people.

“Transgender Day of Remembrance raises much-needed awareness of hate crimes against the transgender community,” reads HJ 85. “[A]nd provides a day to mourn and honor victims by expressing love and respect for all people in the face of hatred.”

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