Photo Set 1 https://la.indymedia.org/news/2020/01/298696.php
Photo Set 2 https://la.indymedia.org/news/2020/01/298718.php
Photo Set 3 https://la.indymedia.org/news/2020/01/298738.php
I pedaled from my downtown skid row studio to the somewhat cleaner and apparently safer streets of West Hollywood . Locking my bike to a nearby tree, I felt comfortable in this well designed neighborhood and went into the Center For Early Education where a memorial was being held.
The event was well attended. Women and men of every pronoun were there. They were there to remember those that far too many others would rather have forgotten, as though their existences had never been worthy of a mention in the records of humanity. They were there to remember the murdered and the fatally maligned who had walked among us all at some time.
Since 2008 there have 3313 trans person reported homicides worldwide. There were 250 murders in North America since said time with the largest carnage taking place in Central and South America with 2608 violent deaths perpetrated against trans people.
These numbers may be somewhat inaccurate due to the practice of “misgendering” where the deceased's birth gender is listed on the death certificate as opposed to the victim's trans status. This essentially “camouflages “ their daily life practices making it difficult to compile actual murder statistics and motives.
A reliable source for information on trans intersectional contexts is the Trans Murder Monitoring Project which “systematically monitors, collects and analyses reports of homicides of trans and gender-diverse people worldwide “.
Trans Murder Monitoring Project. https://tgeu.org/tmm/
There were 30 killings in the United States in 2019.
Some of these murders were profoundly gruesome. Most were gun related. Around 67 percent were sex workers. Almost all were African American transsexual women.
The memorial was very tasteful in that West Hollywood way. Poems were read. Elegies were sung. Speakers cried for their fallen sisters and brothers. Tears were shed onstage and in the seats.
Photos of the fallen were projected on a rear screen as their names and faces and lives were memorialized by various people.
Trans suicides were also mentioned
I did not ( although I could be easily mistaken ) see any sign of the kind of transwomen whom I had encountered on Skid Row trying to stay alive for the night selling ass on the cold streets of tented Los Angeles.
These were middle class mourners; organized, defiant and tasteful.
The memorial ended with a small but very spirited march which ensued for some blocks with several police cars escorting the protesters in safety through the store lined streets.
As the marchers made their way forward, I saw fear and sorrow in their faces but it was blended with a resolve to organize and shout against the walls of hate that these gender diverse people face far too often as they venture outside the posh sanctuaries of West Hollywood.
They were shouting for the world to care.
They were shouting for common decency.
They were shouting for their lives.