PALM SPRINGS — The Transgender Community Coalition will hold a special “Transgender Day of Remembrance” on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at City Hall.

A vigil will be held in front of the City Council Chambers at 5 p.m.

This observance, held annually on Nov. 20, honors the memories of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.

In 2017, according to the Human Rights Campaign, advocates tracked at least 29 deaths of transgender people in the United States due to fatal violence, the most ever recorded. These victims were killed by acquaintances, partners and strangers, some of whom have been arrested and charged, while others have yet to be identified. Some of these cases involve clear anti-transgender bias. In others, the victim’s transgender status may have put them at risk in other ways, such as forcing them into homelessness.

Although the details of these cases differ, it is clear that fatal violence disproportionately affects transgender women of color, and that the intersections of racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia conspire to deprive them of employment, housing, healthcare and other necessities, barriers that make them vulnerable.

Well-known transgender actor and singer Laith Ashley will provide the keynote speech.

The ceremony will include the display of a “Transgender Day of Remembrance Memorial Sculpture,” created by artist Heath Satow. This sculpture was inspired by the death of Yazmin Sanchez who was burned to death in a Florida alleyway. The scorched burn marks from her remains inspired a life-sized sculpture of a person laying in a somber sleeping position covered in butterflies.

Butterflies are the spiritual symbol of transgender people.

“The Transgender Community Coalition would like to invite all those who support equality for everyone to join us on Tuesday, Nov. 20 for this Day of Remembrance to honor those whose lives were lost by acts of anti-transgender violence,” Chief Executive Officer Thomi Clinton said in a prepared statement. “We thank the City of Palm Springs for supporting and welcoming our community for this important event.”

There are an estimated 27,000 transgender people in the Inland Empire. Transgender Community Coalition (TCC) devotes its time and energy to advocating for the transgender, intersex, queer, gender non-conforming and socially and politically under-represented members of the community.

A Community Resource Fair will be held in the parking lot at City Hall from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

For more information, visit here.