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Trans-Giving brings Trans Awareness Week to meaningful close
by Vern Hester
2022-11-28

This article shared 648 times since Mon Nov 28, 2022
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On the evening of Nov. 20, the close of Transgender Awareness Week was acknowledged with Trans-Giving, an event both celebrating transgender lives and accomplishments, and remembering those lost to anti-trans violence in 2022.

The sold-out dinner, which took place at Botanica San Judas Tadeo, at 3836 W. 26th St., was spearheaded by Chicago transgender Latinx community elder and longtime activist Monica Hernandez, and featured speakers who both acknowledged the passing of transgender individuals nationwide and spoke on the progress and struggles in the community.

Additional speakers included Maya Lozano, Eve Estrelle Styles, Ginger Valdez, Reyna Ortiz and Emily Jade Aguilar.

Opening the presentation, Aguilar said, "We need to talk about sisterhood," later adding, "We as trans women are so powerful, we are so beautiful, we are so wise...trans people are resilient. We deserve extravagant events, we deserve visibility, we deserve a chair at every table. If they won't give us a place at that table, we will build the motherfucking table."

After the names of murdered trans women were read prior to a moment of silence, Ortiz spoke about the history of trans individuals in native Indian culture before the 20th Century. Speaking about Two Spirit tribe members she said, "There was a time in our history where we didn't have to fight...we were celebrated."

Ortiz also noted the importance of remembering both that particular history and those who have passed saying, "If we forget our past, we cannot move into our future."

Stiles spoke about her plight as being transgender and undocumented and said, "I haven't met half of my family...I had to make my family here." She added, "Still, this is about us sitting at the table...we don't want to be just accepted."

She further emphasized, "Just because this world set us up, doesn't mean we don't have a future...no one can hold us back if we stand together."

Among the names of murdered transgender individuals were Tiffany Banks, Semaj Billingslea, Acey Morrison, Mya Allen, Dede Ricks, Maddie Hoffman, Aaron Lynch, Kandii Reed, Hayden Davis, Marisela Castro, Naomie Skinner, Cypress Ramos, Duval Princess, Amariey Lej, Fern Feather, Ariyanna Mitchell, Miia Love Parker, Kenyatta "Kesha" Webster, Katheryn "Katie" Newhouse, Tatania Labelle, Paloma Vazquez, Matthew Angelo Spampinato, Cherry Bush, Keshia Chanel Geter, Martiasia Richmond, Kitty Monroe, Shawmayne Giselle Marie, Brazil Johnson, Sasha Mason, Chanelika Y'Ella Dior Hemingway, Nedra Sequence Morris and Ray Muscat.

Sponsors for the Nov. 20 event included Corazon Community Services, CALOR Health Services, and TWIRL Community Services.


This article shared 648 times since Mon Nov 28, 2022
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