FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A day to honor those who lost their life due to anti-trans violence, Transgender Remembrance Day, was commemorated at Fresno State’s Satellite Student Union. Resources and information were offered to attendees including trans-youth and allies.
Drew Harbaugh, chapter president at PFLAG Fresno, says the Transgender Remembrance Day is a time to gather and honor those who lost their life at the hands of anti-trans violence.
“It’s important that we honor them because there is an increase in anti-trans violence and it’s important that we make sure to humanize the lives that we lost today and ensure that future generations of trans people don’t die,” he said.
He says as a trans-man, it is important to honor those who died at the hands of anti-trans violence.
“For me, it’s very important to honor them. For me, this is very much in the line of a funeral,” said Harbaugh.
Harbaugh says it is important for him to bring awareness to the community to prevent more transgender individuals from becoming a victim of anti-trans violence.
He appreciates the different organizations that are allies for the cause like Fresno State, Planned Parenthood, and Hmong Innovating Politics.
“We are glad to see so many people here and we hope for a day when Trans Day Remembrance is no longer needed,” said Harbaugh.
Harbaugh would like to encourage the community to be educated since misinformation can happen regarding the Transgender Community. He says places like Fresno State have resources available for the community.
“For those folks who are at home and it’s not safe for you to come out yet, we see you. We are sending a lot of love, I personally have been there before I was able to come out and felt safe and know that there are resources out there, there are people who will understand you, and there are people who would help the people that you love to understand you better. I send a lot of love, it is a difficult place to be, to not be able to come out, and you’re gonna get there when it’s your time, you are going to be able to come out and be yourself.”
Harbaugh explains that for violence to start there has to be dehumanization first.
“We are human beings. We are fathers, and sons, and sisters and aunts, we are cousins, we are nurses, we are doctors and teachers, and we live in the community and we have existed forever. And we just want to survive.”