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Memphis Transgender Day of Remembrance honors those lost in Colorado LGBTQ+ bar shooting

"Why come into our space and destroy it and trigger, and kill and traumatize us like that?"

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — November 20th is the Transgender Day of Remembrance, a time where the LGBTQ+ community honors the lives lost to transphobia and transgender violence.  While this year holds an air of grief, it also has many Memphians championing and celebrating safe spaces as a special part in the LGBTQ+ experience.

“These are just people, we’re just people,” says Ariel Figueroa, Beth Sholom Synagogue Inclusion Committee Chair.

One day after the mass shooting in Club Q came a mix of grief and disbelief in the LGBTQ+ community.

“To see something that’s kind of reminiscent of the Pulse incident a few years ago to happen literally on today on a day of remembrance, where we’re supposed to be remembering the people that we’ve already lost, and to lose more, it’s very disheartening,” says Daniel Thompson, Headliners Memphis Director.

Thompson adds LGBTQ+ clubs serve an important role for those as they embrace their identities.

“These places are very crucial because those are the spaces where people have their first coming out story, people may have their first of a lot of experiences living in this community,” says Thompson.

For some communities, those spaces for inclusion and tolerance are hard to come by.

“They do not often have safe spaces in a lot of communities, communities or places where they’re ok to be themselves,” says Figueroa.

“You have groups of marginalized people who are crying out just for the normalcy of every other human that is able to endure in this country.  So why is it that we are just living our lives, doing what we want to do in spaces made for us, and we’re not threatening and we’re not doing anything to any of the outside parties, so why come into our space and destroy it and trigger, and kill and traumatize us like that,” says Thompson.

Moments like the Transgender Day of Remembrance hold a little more importance this year, not only as a time to celebrate the accomplishments of the LGBTQ+ community, but the ongoing effort towards a sense of equality.

“Continue to fight for our rights and continue to fight for the inclusive spaces that we rightfully deserve for our community to feel safe and be able to be ourselves authentically,” says Thompson.

OutMemphis will host a candlelight vigil on November 21st honoring those killed in the Club Q shooting.  It will start at 6PM at the OutMemphis community center at 892 S Cooper Street.

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