Transgender Day of Remembrance 2015

“The Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgenderbigotry and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people — sometimes in the most brutal ways possible it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice.”

‪#‎TDOR‬ ‪#‎TransgenderDayofRemembrance‬ ‪#‎StopKillingUs‬ ‪#‎FTM‬ ‪#‎MTF‬

Gwendolyn Ann Smith- Transgender Day of Rememberance Founder



Settlement Reached in Transgender Man’s Lawsuit Against New York City Parks Department Over Discriminatory Incident at Staten Island Pool

November 13, 2015 – TLDEF announces a settlement in its lawsuit against the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation on behalf of Bryan Ellicott, a 26-year-old transgender man who was barred from using the men’s locker room at the Joseph H. Lyons Pool in Staten Island in the summer of 2013.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the Parks Department has agreed to enforce its policy “not to discriminate against visitors to Parks and Recreation facilities on the basis of gender identity,” and to “allow visitors to Parks and Recreation facilities to access segregated areas (such as restrooms and locker rooms) according to the visitor’s gender identity[.]” The Department will also provide training to its employees on this policy.

In addition, the City has agreed to pay Mr. Ellicott $10,000 in settlement of his claims.

Statement from TLDEF Executive Director Michael Silverman

“We are pleased to resolve this case on Bryan’s behalf. All New Yorkers must have equal access to public facilities. Under the New York City Human Rights Law, transgender people cannot be denied the use of restrooms and locker rooms just because of who they are.

“This settlement comes on the heels of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive action to protect transgender New Yorkers statewide through proposed regulations that would ban discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and credit. These moves signal a positive turning point in transforming New York into a state where transgender people are finally treated fairly under the law. The changes are long overdue.”

Statement from Bryan Ellicott

“What happened to me happens to many transgender people when they try to use bathrooms and locker rooms. This discrimination severely restricts the ability of transgender people to fully participate in society. This settlement makes clear that discrimination against transgender people is prohibited at New York City Parks and Recreation facilities. Being able to use a bathroom or locker room without harassment is essential and I am glad to resolve this case.”

Carmine Boccuzzi, Sharon Barbour, Arnaldo Bernardi, Alexandra Eber, Melissa Gohlke, and Michael Noveck of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP were pro bonoco-counsel for Bryan with TLDEF. We are grateful for their assistance.


Transgender Awareness Month

November is Transgender Awareness Month. We take this opportunity to highlight and celebrate the diverse experiences and identities of transgender people around the world. We will also be spreading the word about the importance both of passing non-discrimination protections based on gender identity and expression, for transgender people everywhere

This year the Transgender Day of Rememberance is Friday, November 21st. With events happening across the city, state, country and world.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on November 28th, 1998 kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Rita Hester’s murder — like most anti-transgender murder cases — has yet to be solved.

Although not every person represented during the Day of Remembrance self-identified as transgender — that is, as a transsexual, crossdresser, or otherwise gender-variant — each was a victim of violence based on bias against transgender people.
We live in times more sensitive than ever to hatred based violence, especially since the events of September 11th. Yet even now, the deaths of those based on anti-transgender hatred or prejudice are largely ignored. Over the last decade, more than one person per month has died due to transgender-based hate or prejudice, regardless of any other factors in their lives. This trend shows no sign of abating.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance serves several purposes. It raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people, an action that current media doesn’t perform. Day of Remembrance publicly mourns and honors the lives of our brothers and sisters who might otherwise be forgotten. Through the vigil, we express love and respect for our people in the face of national indifference and hatred. Day of Remembrance reminds non-transgender people that we are their sons, daughters, parents, friends and lovers. Day of Remembrance gives our allies a chance to step forward with us and stand in vigil, memorializing those of us who’ve died by anti-transgender violence.

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