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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | LGBTI / Queer
2nd Annual Alameda County Transgender Day of Remembrance Held November 18, 2007 in Oakland, CA
For the second year in a row, the Alameda transgender community came together to remember, heal, honor, and educate. Combining art with activism, the East Bay trans community and event organizers made this Day of Remembrance uniquely their own and proving a significant and visible force in the East Bay in the process.
SECOND ANNUAL ALAMEDA COUNTY TRANSGENDER DAY OF REMEMBRANCE HELD NOVEMBER 18, 2007 IN OAKLAND, CA
Oakland, CA - For the second year in a row, Alameda County’s Transgender Day of Remembrance ceremony was held in Oakland, CA on November 18, at Preservation Park in the Nile Hall. Produced by Tri-City Health Center and the TransVision program, the Alameda County Official Transgender Day of Remembrance ceremony drew over 100 community members, supporters, and political representatives from Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco Counties.
A diverse crowd complemented the diverse program put on stage by event coordinator and emcee Tiffany Woods. Impassioned speeches, poetry, live music, and performance theatre complemented photo displays of transgender community members and life-size cutout figures representing those being remembered. Field Representatives Annie Flores and Veronica Williams from Assemblymember Sandre’ Swanson, Sixteenth District, read a letter of support and presented a certificate in honor of The 9th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance from Assemblymember Swanson. Katie Tague, representing State Senator Ellen Corbett, District 10, also read a letter of support from Senator Corbett.
This support from elected officials for the transgender community is commonplace in San Francisco, but rare in Alameda County.
Keynote speaker Darryl Moore, Berkeley City Council Member, took the national leaders to task for passing a transgender exclusive Employment –Non-Discrimination Bill, stating “this is outrageous and unacceptable and our leaders need to be held accountable” he demanded to great applause. An opening invocation was given by Rev. Vicky Kolakowski, setting the tone of the evening for healing and living.
Yosenio Lewis, FTM social justice activist and artist, who is on the board of the Woodhull Freedom Foundation and Tenderloin Health, spoke before reading a poem he wrote, saying: "As trans people of color, as FTMs of color, we have a responsibility to stand up and be seen, we have a responsibility to care for all of us and work together to make the wrongs right. When we are killed, when we are denied care, when we are treated as if we are less that human, we can ill afford to close our eyes to the violence all around us. Close your mouth and open your eyes. See what's in front of you. Stand up for me. Stand up for you. Stand up."
Other speakers included Alexandra Byerly, El/LA Program Coordinator, a special monologue by TransVision’s Tanajsha & Mimi, and live music written specifically for Day of Remembrance by Kari McAllister and performed by her and band mates Sharri Kline and Rosa Koire. Plans are already underway for next year’s ceremony.
Cut out representing hope to balence the violence
The audience at the start of the ceremony
Katie Tague, Councilman Moore, Lisa Dummer, Vicky Kowlakowski
Audience watching intently
Berekeley City Councilman Darry Moore delivering the Keynote Address
TransVision's Tanajsha and Amelia performing a monologue about stigma in the African -American community
Live music written specifically for Day of Remembrance by Kari McAllister, guitar, and performed by her and band mates Sharri Kline, keyboards, and Rosa Koire, sax.
Alexandra Byerly, El/LA Program Coordinator, speaking abuut the violence and dsicrimaination against Latina transgender women
"Close your mouth and open your eyes. See what's in front of you. Stand up for me. Stand up for you. Stand up."
Memorial to the African- American trans women who have lost their lives from violence and HIV/AIDS in Oakland since 1990. There are 30 names on the board.