Transgender Day of Remembrance 2010 Planning

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Transgender Day of Remembrance 2010

I’m still considering whether or not to organize a demonstration/candlelight vigil for Transgender Day of Remembrance 2010.  This would be the first time such an event was held in Maryville.  Last year, Riley Hill, a college student at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, organized an event that I really liked.

If you view the photo album above you can see that several people gathered on the corner of Concord Rd./Neyland Dr. and Kingston Pk.  There Conrad Honiker and others had made poster board signs for us to hold to inform people sitting in five o’clock traffic on a Friday that trans-related violence existed and that all people mattered.  Of the hundreds of cars that passed by, many did nothing, many rolled down their window and voiced support for our action, and a very, very small handful voiced dissent.  One in particular was a pickup truck containing about two young college men.  They rolled down their window and yelled, “All transvestites need to die!”

A comment such as that validated our action that afternoon as well as the supporting comments.

We stood lined down the sidewalk and at about 6:30 pm, we walked to the front of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church.  A small crowd gathered with others that didn’t participate in the sidewalk demonstration.  I believe there were four speakers that evening.  We lit candles and read the names of the trans people that had been murdered since the 2008 ceremony.  A closing statement was made, and we were done.

*post and speech from the Knoxville TDoR 2009 event

If a similar-type event were to occur in Maryville I would propose that we stand along the sidewalk on the north side of West Lamar Alexander Parkway and West Broadway at 5:30 p.m. on Friday November 19th.  After about 45 minutes, we would walk, single-file, about 2200 feet to the Greenbelt pavilion near the courthouse.

*Proposed Route

Once there we would listen to a couple of speakers, pass out vigil candles, read the names of the victims from this past year followed by a moment of silence and a closing statement.  A TDoR ceremony can be very powerful emotionally – and it needs to be.  However, each person that attends should leave feeling like there is hope for the future and not despondent.

I’ve never organized anything in my life – even my desk at work.  Considering that and that only two weeks are available to plan and implement this event would mean I would really needs some volunteers to step up and help.

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference.
And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.

-Elie Wiesel