Monday, 20 November 2017 23:16

Groups remember 325 transgender murder victims in 2017 Featured

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STATEWIDE - It has been an emotional couple days for transgender groups across the state and world, as they remember those lost to violent acts. It's a statistic that's growing at a startling rate.

For nearly 20 years, November 20th has been marked as "transgender day of remembrance."


Monday, a group gathered on the UMA-Bangor campus to think about victims of transphobic violence. Whether trans, gay, or just an ally, it strengthened those in attendence to be surrounded by supporters.


"It feels really empowering to have so many members of our community come together," said Danielle "Ravyn" Van Helsing, board member of Maine Transnet. "Because it's really common for trans people to be very seclusive out of fear, and if they go outside, they don't express themselves. This is a place where trans people get to express themselves freely."


The group brought food to share with each other, and then headed out into the quiet Bangor night for a candle light vigil - and a moment of silence - remembering trans people murdered around the world this year.


In Portland on Sunday, organizers of their remembrance vigil read aloud the names of each victim - 325 - murdered worldwide.


"I think about what their stories were... what their lives could've been," attendee Skyler Keiter said.


"We want to make sure that they're remembered," Quinn Gormley added. "That the violence that cost them their life is something that we're actively working to stop."


The Human Rights Campaign estimates transgender women are four times more likely to be murdered than the general population of women.


The 325 trans men and women murdered worldwide in 2017 is significantly higher than last year (295), 2015 (245), and many years past.




David Guildford

Weekend Anchor/Reporter
[email protected]

David joined the news team in March of 2017. First and foremost he is a proud Mainer. Before reporting for ABC7 and FOX22, he interned at WLBZ2 in Bangor, and attended the University of Maine's journalism program.

David was raised in the western Maine foothills, and has been a lifelong viewer of local Maine news. He hopes to bring this perspective to telling the stories of folks in the community.

When not on the job, David enjoys skiing, snowmobiling, spending time at the family camp on Branch Lake, and playing slow-pitch softball with the other Bangor gym class heroes.