Memorial marks deaths in transgender community

Edmontonians gathered in a downtown church to honour those killed for being transgendered, and to call for greater understand and compassion for the community.

 Edmontonians gathered at a downtown church Saturday afternoon to honour those who were killed or injured for being transgendered.

"Far too often, deaths in the trans community go unnoticed and sometimes even unlabelled. Bering such a small population to begin with, we really feel the loss of every death," said Angela Reed, one of the organizers of the Transgender Day of Remembrance ceremony.

The annual memorial started in the United States in the late 1990’s, when a transgendered woman was murdered. The tradition has since spread worldwide.

Organizers say 210 people were killed in the last year for being transgendered and that most of them were victims of hate-crimes and attacks.

However, speaker Jan Buterman says that many transgendered people are put in danger by less violent forms of prejudice.

" We certainly hear stories of people still having trouble obtaining housing or being refused housing or losing employment," Buterman said.

"All of those kinds of things that can happen in life that can make it very difficult for a person to survive."

Buterman says by bringing attention to the violence, the hope is to encourage compassion towards the trials faced by transgendered people.