WASHINGTON, DC — More than two dozen activists gathered at the White House Tuesday to mark the Transgender Day of Remembrance to honor transgender victims of hate crimes, the first time such a formal commemoration of the day has happened at the White House.
Vigils were held across the country and globe on Tuesday in commemoration of transgender people killed due to anti-trans violence. This is the 14th year the transgender community and allies have held a day of remembrance.
Office of Personnel Management director John Berry, who is gay and one of the administration’s highest-ranking out LGBT officials, led the group in a moment of silence recognizing victims.
Among the attendees were Diego Sanchez, the first out trans Hill staffer, who works for retiring Rep. Barney Frank; Babs Siperstein, the first out trans member of the Democratic National Committee executive committee; Kylar Broadus, the first out trans person to testify before the Senate; and National Center for Transgender Equality executive director Mara Keisling.
“To have a senior administration official like John leading us in commemorating transgender victims of violence is a really good thing,” Keisling said. “But to have President Barack Obama’s commitment to solving anti-transgender violence affirmed in today’s meeting is a great thing.”
The trans leaders and White House officials discussed “policies that make transgender lives safer” at the meeting, NCTE officials stated in a news release.