NORTHAMPTON, Massachusetts — To mark the 14th annual international Transgender Day of Remembrance, LGBT and LGBT-supportive groups in Hampshire County are organizing a series of events to raise awareness about the experiences of transgender people.
On Wednesday,November 14th, Mara Keisling, Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), will give a talk on “How Trans People Are Getting It Done” at 7 p.m. in room 101 of the UMass Campus Center. NCTE is the largest transgender rights organization in the U.S. and was instrumental in the issuance of regulations banning discrimination based on gender identity in federal employment and housing programs.
On Friday, November 16th, Athens Boys Choir (Katz) and Katastrophe (Rocco Kayiatos), two of the country’s most well-known trans-masculine artists, will present “F To eMbody,” a multi-media spoken word and hip-hop performance. The event is at the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence (220 Main Street, Northampton) at 7 p.m.
Finally, on November 20th, local transgender people and supporters will mark the international Transgender Day of Remembrance with an event in Northampton. Participants will assemble at the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence at 5:30 p.m. and march to First Churches (129 Main Street, Northampton) for a program and reception. Scheduled speakers and performers include Northampton Mayor David Narcewicz, local trans activist Brianna Harris, and the Pioneer Valley Gay Men’s Chorus.
“It’s important for all of us, especially allies, to show support for transgender people,” said Suzanne Seymour, Director of the LGBT Coalition of Western Massachusetts, one of the main sponsors of the events. “It’s alarming that so many transgender individuals are attacked, beaten or murdered because of their gender identity. This gives us an opportunity to come together as a community,showing respect for their lives and grieve what, unfortunately, continues to happens.”
Other sponsors are the UMass Stonewall Center, the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence, First Churches, and the Hampshire County Transgender Day of Remembrance Planning Committee. All events are free and open to the public.
For more information, please call 413-545-4826 or www.lgbtcoalitionwma.org.
[From a news release]