by Jeremy Leaming
Earlier this fall one of the nation’s largest public interest groups devoted to countering hateful messages and actions against lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender women and men celebrated a “Spirit Day,” which included celebrities and others speaking out against bullying of LGBT persons.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation in a press statement regarding Spirit Day, Oct. 20, declared it a success with numerous media outlets, celebrities, corporations, and the White House showing support of anti-bullying initiatives.
But as two recent convictions of people involved in the brutal deaths of a transgender woman and a gay teenager show, more than one day is needed to focus the nation’s attention on the frequent dangers the LGBT community face.
In particular, violence against transgender men and women, as TransgenderDOR.org reported earlier this month, has resulted in more than 200 murders this year. Neal Broverman for Advocate.com wrote on Nov. 18, “it seems inconceivable that we need such a thing as Transgender Day of Remembrance, which memorializes those murdered for their gender identity,” but “when publications like the New York Post refer to Chaz Bono as a ‘she-man,’ as it did this week, you can see where some of the intense hate directed at transgender people is born.”
In a recent post for the National Center For Lesbian Rights’ Out For Justice Blog, the group’s State Policy Director Liz Seaton reflected on the deaths of Krissy Bates, a transgender woman, and Lawrence “Larry” King, a gay youngster. Seaton says she wants Krissy and Larry “to be remembered not just by their families and friends, but by others as well.”