WICHITA FALLS, TX (RNN Texoma) - People of all ages came together Tuesday night to honor those who lost their lives to violence during a memorial service at Metropolitan Community Church for Transgender Day of Remembrance.
24 transgender people have been murdered this year in the United states alone. Hundreds have been murdered throughout the world.
Tuesday night is not the only day the MCC has taken time to recognize the dangers that face transgender people.
Throughout the month of November, Pastor Mel Martinez has led a series tackling how gender identity is understood today versus 2,000 years ago, and how that understanding has changed.
At vigil and on every Sunday of this month, the Church has offered pins churchgoers pins – each with different pronouns on them so that they can self-identify their own genders.
Pastor Martinez said the purpose is meant to bring more acceptance.
“That has given me the opportunity to be a little more forthcoming with my own congregation, with my own gender journey – which is of the trans spectrum; not fully transitioning but certainly gender queer. So much of the time for folks who don't fit into the gender norms, the pronoun is one of the first things in our language, how we address each other, and a sign of respect,” Martinez said.
Statistics show that in the US transgender people are murdered at a rate of one every two weeks in. Majority are trans women of color.
Pastor Martinez said the number seems to be growing every year.
Martinez hopes that the MCC is an example of what it looks like to tackle the problem head on and bring about change and unity.
He said, “I hope the city of Wichita Falls – everyone in the community – understands and sees in us a desire to honor differences, and to make room for a diverse, beautiful, growing, changing, and respectful community.”
To see the full memorial service honoring the lives of transgender people lost as a result of hate crimes, visit the MCC’s Facebook page.