WATERLOO REGION – Local organizations are teaming up to hold a vigil in remembrance of the lives of transgender people lost to violence over the past year.
“I think transgender people are probably 20 to 25 years behind lesbians, gays and bisexuals in terms of rights and acceptance in the community,” said Scott Williams, project coordinator at Spectrum.
“It is important to raise awareness of the challenges this community faces so that we can help support them further. “
The Glow Center and Spectrum, alongside the AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and Area, and Shore Center, are hosting the virtual event on Saturday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Hosted by Sam Faulkner, design student, activist and co-founder of the Ottawa transgender youth group called Saefty, attendees will hear a variety of speakers.
These include Dewe’igan Bearfoot, a Two-Spirit Anishnaabe woman from Spry Lake, Ontario; Cait Glasson, former chair of the board of Spectrum; TK Pritchard, Executive Director of the Shore Center; and Teneile Warren, co-founder of Inside Waterloo and Equity and Inclusion Officer at the Regional School Board.
Then at 4 p.m., a one-hour healing circle will be hosted by Mandi Cowan and Washington Silk, both figures in the social work sector.
The vigil is one of many events taking place in Ontario on Saturday, the internationally recognized Transgender Day of Remembrance.