By Shari Miller, Vice-President, Dignity/Denver
Dignity/Denver held its Third Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance Liturgy on Sunday, November 16th, 2008. This moving event originally came about because one of our members knew someone on the list who was being memorialized. That person was a 24-year old Hispanic woman who was murdered with a shotgun inside her own apartment. She was a gentle soul murdered because she was gender-variant.
Since that first Dignity/Denver Day of Remembrance, other names have been added to the list, far too many names. A graphic designer in our community designed posters containing the names, dates, places, and causes of death of the nearly 400 gender-variant persons brutally and viciously murdered over the years. The posters also contain the names of persons who died because they were denied compassionate and professional medical attention. For the Transgender Day of Remembrance, these posters are placed on the walls around the church as a way of raising awareness of the violence against transgender persons. The posters are viewed not only by the members of Dignity/Denver, but also by the two other faith-based groups sharing the church.
Dignity/Denver also uses the Day of Remembrance as a means of reaching out to the transgender community in the Denver Metropolitan Area. We show that we are a welcoming community, where persons who have been marginalized because of their gender-variance have a safe and affirming place to come and worship. Our Chapter is a stronger one because we have reached out in a positive way to this community.