By Liz Massey, December 2015 Issue.
The Valley’s transgender community and their allies will remember the brothers and sisters they have lost to violence during 2015 at a local observance of the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), at 6 p.m. Nov. 20, on the lawn of the State Capitol complex, at 1700 W. Washington St., Phoenix.
This year, the event will be organized by Trans*Spectrum of Arizona, a support and advocacy organization based in the Valley. Chris O’Connor, a member of Trans*Spectrum’s board of directors, explained that the move was intended to ensure the event had an organizational home.
“We were asked to take on the event as an established organization and really be the keepers of this tradition to give it more stability and support,” he said.
As in past years, the event will feature community speakers, a reading of the names of those lost to anti-trans violence throughout the year, a moment of silence with a candlelight vigil and a display with names and faces of the victims.
The remembrance has taken on special meaning this year, as one of the names that will be read is that of Kandis Capri, a trans woman who was murdered in Phoenix on Aug. 11. At press time, no one had been arrested in conjunction with the crime, although police were seeking a male investigative lead who was seen with Capri at a convenience store near 43rd Avenue and Thomas Road shortly before her murder.
“For those who are affected by recent murders within our transgender community, TDOR serves as a memorial and a peaceful place to mourn, extend positivity and empower our community to be resilient, strong and thriving,” he said. “Trans*Spectrum of Arizona is actively involved in community concerns regarding transgender individuals and will provide support to those who need and seek that guidance. We want to remember Kandis and empower those like herself to be safe, and let them know that they are supported and loved.”
While the focus during TDOR is on mourning and honoring those who have died due to anti-trans violence, O’Connor said the event was a powerful opportunity for trans community members, their LGB counterparts and their allies to cultivate resilience, as well.
“There is a shared experience in coming together as a community and learning of the impact that those murders have had on us,” he said. “When you foster healthy internal environments, the results can be very empowering and give transgender people opportunities for successful lives.”
The TDOR event is free and open to the public. Donations to defray costs of the event will be accepted. For more information on Trans*Spectrum of Arizona, visit transspectrum.org or facebook.com/transspectrumaz.