Decatur holds Transgender Day of Remembrance event

Alana Banks spoke at Decatur’s Transgender Day of Remembrance service this past Sunday. (Photo courtesy of Alana Banks)

DECATUR — Decatur residents came together this past Sunday for a Transgender Day or Remembrance (TDOR) service.

The Decatur Herald & Review said that the event was held at the First Congregational Church. The service was one of many being held across Illinois this week. TDOR is on Nov. 20, but Mark Schleeter, president of the Decatur PFLAG, told the newspaper his group wanted to hold it on Sunday since it was the the beginning of Transgender Awareness Week.

The newspaper reported that those attending read the names of all 24 transgender people who have been killed in the U.S. in 2018. With each name, a candle was lit and a bell was rung in their memory.

The keynote speaker for the service was Alana Banks, a transgender woman and vice-president of Decatur Pride. Schleeter said that 16 people attended the service, the third annual service for TDOR in Decatur.

“It is time that we stop forcing gender nonconforming people back into the closet,” Banks told the Herald & Review. “Trans people are human people. We deserve the same human rights that everyone does no matter our color, shape or size.”

A new report from the Human Rights Campaign stated that, since 2013, there have been 128 people killed in anti-transgender violence. More than 80% were people of color and black transgender women of color accounted for 69% of those killed. And almost 9 out of 10 people killed were transgender women. There have been two killed this year in Chicago.

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