SIOUX FALLS, SD (Greater Dakota News Service)- Today is the Transgender Day of Remembrance, a somber anniversary that recognizes transgender people who’ve lost their lives in the past year, including a South Dakota trans woman murdered in January. The day of remembrance began in 1999 after the killing of a trans woman in Massachusetts. This year, advocates for the community will be honoring 25 people who lost their lives, the highest number ever recorded for the remembrance.
Terri Bruce is a transgender man, who says that’s a large and frightening number for such a small community, especially in South Dakota. He sees today as a day of reflection.
In recent years, anti-trans “bathroom bills” have circulated in state legislatures across the country. Last year, the South Dakota Legislature passed a bill requiring students to use the restrooms and locker rooms that matched their sex at birth. Governor Dennis Daugaard vetoed it, calling the measure “a solution in search of a problem.” But Bruce says these bills, whether they pass or not, have a damaging effect on the transgender community.
Bruce says education is the best approach to greater understanding.
The Black Hills Center for Equality is holding vigils today in Rapid City and Sioux Falls.