Las Vegas gathers to recognize Transgender Day of Remembrance
Trans Pride
Las Vegas Trans Pride

Nov. 20 marked the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), and Las Vegas joined communities around the world recognizing the day.

Jamie Lee Sprague-Ballou, founder of Las Vegas TransPride, organized a week’s worth of events around TDoR, culminating in a vigil hosted the evening of Nov. 19 at 1140 Almond Tree Lane.

According to the Las Vegas TransPride website:

This is the original day that TransPride week has been built around, as we remember those who boldly lived as their authentic selves. We carry their voices with us, as we continue to fight for justice and equality. 

TDoR recognizes the transgender lives lost through violence around the world that year. In 2018, 369 transgender men and women were killed, up more than 100 from 2017. Of those 369 deaths, 30 happened in the United States.

“These are hate crimes,” said Sprague-Ballou, according to Las Vegas Now. “We’re trying to bring the awareness of the hatred that exists against our community.”

During the vigil, 369 cards with names and faces of the victims could be seen covering a wall. All their names were read aloud, as happens every year with a new batch of names.

“Here in Las Vegas we are privileged, but we need to remember other places that don’t have the privileges like we do,” said Sprague-Ballou. “We would love there not to be a Transgender Day of Remembrance where we don’t have to have this day; where people would just know how to exist with us, and we’d not have that fear.”

“We carry their names, and we carry their hurt with us,” explained Sprague-Ballou further. “I would love it if we can come one year and say, ‘We have no names to read this year because everyone is treating us like people.’ What kind of world would that be?”