The community can learn, raise awareness, support and remember those who identify as transgender.
Lakeland College will host the first Lloydminster Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20. The international event brings communities together to share the memory of those lost to transphobia and to shine a lens on the violence that continues on the transgender community.
Creator Adrianna Girard saw a similar event thrown in Edmonton and really wanted to bring it to Lloydminster and area. Amongst some of the backlash for putting together the event, Girard says “all publicity is good publicity”. She believes that this will help normalize transgender and gender identity in the small community.
“At least we know the message is being heard. It might not be five, it might not even be ten, it might be twenty years down the road that little push might help a small community.”
Girard says speakers will share their challenges and journeys, some will speak on friends they have lost to violence against transgender people. She says identifying as transgender is not confusion, it’s something you know at birth.
“Sexual orientation is starting to show in smaller communities. It’s not where we’d like it to be but it’s definitely become more accepted in a smaller community whereas gender identity and gender expression are absolutely not.”
A moment of silence will happen during the event to pay respect to those who have lost their lives to transgender violence. Girard says hearing stories from her friends in the community has made her more confident and hopes this event can give that to others.
“Now we need to start focusing on the full spectrum of gender and we need to focus not just on the people of binaries, but also people down the middle and what their experiences were.”
The event will be a potluck starting at 6, the event will go until 9 pm at Lakeland College, Girard says anyone is welcome to join the event.