Trans Remembrance names 200+ violent deaths; Trans Pride celebrates ‘who we are’

Trans Pride was held Nov. 13-19 with a week of activities that included a bowling night for trans youth. The event kicked off Monday with a Transgender Day of Remembrance, where more than 200 names of transgender people, who have died by acts of violence, were read aloud.

Jamie Lee Sprague Ballou is the pastor of Mary Magdalence Friends, UCC; and the founder and organizer of the Las Vegas Trans Pride. She said the Day of Remembrance started in 1998 after people protested in the streets of San Francisco seeking justice for the murder of an African-American trans woman, Rita Hester.

“It’s a tough day,” Pastor Jamie Lee Sprague Ballou explained.

For the last few years, Sprague Ballou has expanded the day to include a week of activities to soften the mournful anniversary. She wanted to add some music to bring pride awareness to the community and “celebrate who we are.”

Though lots of cities throughout the country hold a Transgender Day of Remembrance event, Sprague Ballou said, Las Vegas may be the only one to hold a week of activities.

On Nov. 17 a festival with at least four bands was held in front of the Transending the Gender Box, a drop-in center that provides services to the homeless. Next year, the events will run from Nov. 20-25. Sprague Ballou and her volunteer team have already begun organizing it and looking for sponsors

This year, more than 500 people attended the weeklong events

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