Arlington’s Human Rights Commission and members of the County Board gathered on Oct. 24 for a proclamation-signing ceremony recognizing Nov. 20, 2018, as Transgender Day of Remembrance in Arlington.
The ceremony preceded the County Board’s October Recessed Meeting, where the proclamation was read aloud. Local advocacy groups, including the Transgender Education Association of Greater Washington (TGEA) and PFLAG, attended the ceremony as well, along with staff from the County’s Office of Human Rights.
In addition to the proclamation-signing, the ceremony was an opportunity to reflect on the experiences that the transgender community, loved ones and allies experience. To County Board Chair Katie Cristol, the proclamation was a reaffirmation of Arlington’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
“Thank you for the opportunity to recognize this day, particularly at a time when the authentic identities of our transgender neighbors, friends, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters are under threat from not only violence, but from policy change,” Cristol said. “It is affirming that we have this moment to do the exact opposite, to say that no member of our community will be erased throughout their lifetime here in Arlington County.”
“We honor your commitment, as we struggle on how can we support these fine folks who are trying to live their authentic lives,” said TGEA President Sarah Huggins.
Kiley Tibbetts, who chairs Arlington’s Equality Task Force, accepted the proclamation on behalf of the Human Rights Commission.
International Transgender Day of Remembrance is observed annually on Nov. 20 as a way to memorialize those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia and to draw attention to the continued violence endured by the transgender community.