Friday, November 19, 2010, citizens of Maryville will hold their 1st Transgender Day of Remembrance. This is the 12th year that transgender people and their allies have honored those that were needlessly murdered through anti-transgender bias. We count it a good year when the death toll has decreased from one year to the next. Yet at the same time we know that most violent crime against transgender people goes unreported as such. The fallen that we will honor are only the ones that we know of.
Our Transgender Day of Remembrance will actually be two separate events: a peaceful roadside demonstration and a candlelight vigil. The purpose of the roadside demonstration is simply to bring awareness to an issue that most citizen’s of Maryville do not know anything about. It is my hope that drivers and passengers motoring along W Lamar Alexander Parkway between the county courthouse and the city municipal building in rush hour traffic on a Friday will notice the signs that we will be holding. Further, that from this demonstration there will be an impetus for families to discuss trangender violence around the dinner table Friday night – and beyond.
We will hold the candlelight vigil to ensure that the names of those that have been murdered are not forgotten. We will have a couple of speakers on hand to explain to the attendees the history of the Transgender Day of Remembrance, the toll of violence on the transgender community, and what you can do to help stem the violence. We will also read the names of each victim as we light a candle in their memory.
I expect that members of the Maryville Chapter of PFLAG, East Tennessee Equality Council, Maryville High School GSA, and the Maryville College GSA will be in attendance. I want to thank all of these groups for their continued support to the LGBT community in Blount County.
Peaceful Roadside Demonstration
5:00 pm – 5:45 pm
Park and meetup in parking lot on the west side of the Blount County Courthouse. Using the sidewalk, we will walk to our destination which is about 50 feet east of the Montvale Rd/W Lamar Alexander Pkwy intersection. We should space evenly apart and hold our signs in view of traffic as they drive by or stop at the intersection. When we leave, we will walk back toward the parking lot holding our signs in view of oncoming traffic until we reach the east side of the courthouse.
6:00 pm – 6:30 pm
You may park in any parking area around the Blount County Courthouse. We will meet on the east side of the courthouse where the main steps of the courthouse face Court St. It should be getting dark about the time we start. It’s not a bad idea to bring a pen light or small flash light just in case.
Please contact Carla Lewis at (865) 268-9276 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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Note: Both the Maryville City Police Department and the Blount County Mayor’s office were more than accommodating of my requests and want the citizens of Blount County and Maryville to know that they value your right to assemble. They only want it done in an orderly fashion and in a manner that does not affect public safety.