Chicagoans will gather in Humboldt Park the evening of Saturday, Oct. 3 to honor the memory of Michelin Ramos Vargas, a transgender woman who was murdered in Puerto Rico on Sept. 30.
The event begins at 5:30 p.m. at 2753 W. Division St., where participants will gather, then march to La Casita de Don Pedro, 2625 W. Division St.
Organizer Lisa Isadora Cruz said that participants would be marching with candles, and that she would be performing the Shirley Bassey song "This is My Life."
The names of all the known transgender persons who have been killed in 2020 will also be named, she added. There have been over 30 known cases of transgender women murdered in the United States this year.
"The person will be named, then all of the people there will say, 'present,'" Cruz explained. "Then we are going to read how that person was killed, so people can know why this has to stop."
Cruz added, "This is important to show the severity of what's going onthis has happened so often this year, compared to years before. This year is out control. This has to stop. We are human beings. The city of Chicago needs to see what's going on and take action in this situation."
Ramos Vargas' murder has deeply resonated across the country.
"At least three transgender women have been killed in less than two weeks," said HRC Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative Tori Cooper in a statement. "This level of violenceany level of violenceis unacceptable. We are not doing enough to protect transgender and gender non-conforming people, especially trans women. Racism, transphobia and misogyny too often play a role in the deaths of transgender and gender non-conforming people, especially trans women of color.
"As we are mourning the loss of Michelle, we must do more to bring this violence to an end. We must work together with lawmakers at all levels to ensure that policies have protections in place for trans people, and we must work to support our trans friends and family."
The Humboldt Park gathering is the second event addressing the epidemic of violence against transgender women of color taking place Oct. 3. Chicagoans are also planning to gather in Washington Park from 2-5 p.m. for a demonstration entitled "Pride Without Prejudice: Chicago Trans Visibility March." A Pride Without Prejudice event was held this past June, on the day planned for the cancelled Chicago Pride Parade.