Candlelight vigil set for Kelowna's Stuart Park for Trans Day of Remembrance

Vigil for trans lives lost

A candlelight vigil for Trans Day of Remembrance is taking place tonight in Kelowna at Stuart Park to honour lives lost over the past year.

The vigil starts at 7 p.m. and Wilbur Turner from Advocacy Canada says the event is to honour the over 300 transgender lives lost in the past year around the world.

Trans Day of Remembrance was started 24 years ago after an American trans woman, Rita Hester, died as a result of a hate crime.

There was no vigil held last year because of safety concerns but Turner says he felt it was important to hold the event this year.

"The brutality described in police reports is a stark reminder of the hatred faced by our trans siblings. It's crucial not to look away from the harsh reality – targeted hate not only inflicts physical violence but also makes our world less safe," Turner says.

Turner says this year's event is possible because of the support of the community and all are welcome to partake and light a candle in memory of the lives lost to anti-trans violence and bigotry.

"In these challenging times, let's channel our grief into action. Those of us with the capacity must commit not only to commemorate these lives today but to advocate every day for the rights and protection of our trans siblings," Turner says.

A vigil will also be held at Spirit Square in Vernon, the garden area between city hall and the Vernon Museum beginning at 6 p.m.

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