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Vigil for Transgender Day of Remembrance

November 20, 2017 08:50 PM

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- For the first time in Rochester, a local transgender support group is taking part in a national event that started more than 20 years ago.

Transgender Day of Remembrance is on Nov. 20 and was started to remember transgender people who have died by an act of anti-transgender violence.

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This year so far 25 people have died, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

Jessi Wangen battled who she wanted to be until two years ago.

"Around 8 or so I knew okay I am not supposed to be a boy I know I’m supposed to be a girl," said Wangen.

She and a group of friends organized the candlelight vigil that took place in Rochester Monday night.

“It makes me feel awful inside and predominately the people that have lost their lives are transgender women of color," said Wangen.

16 of the 25 people killed were women of color according to Wangen.

We spoke to someone at the event by the name of Michael who asked us not to share his full identity.

He transitioned from female to male when he was 20 years old and still fears backlash and concerns of his safety.

“This is a reality that we all face in the transgender community and while I don’t know anyone that has personally been affected by transgender violence we have lost a lot of people this year," said Michael. 

When asked why she decided to take part in this event Wangen said she wants to give support to those that need it.

"If you are in that situation to come out your going to be greeted with lots of acceptance," said Wangen.


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Lynnette Miller

Copyright 2017 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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