Locals mark Transgender Day of Remembrance with calls for education and overall awareness

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Many gathered Wednesday for Transgender Day of Remembrance. It’s a day to remember those lost to violence for living their true identity.

In June, Chanel Scurlock’s friends say she was meeting a man from an online dating website.

Instead of a romantic outing, she was shot and left dead in a Lumberton field.

“It’s heartbreaking,” said Alexandria Webb, a speaker at Wednesday’s event. “I can remember the day that happened and that happened 20 minutes down the road.”

Not only did Webb live near Scurlock, but they’re also both transgender women.

“To wake up in the news and see someone that looks exactly like you being murdered for living their life the same exact way you live your life,” said Webb. “Just the experience of having to leave my house and wonder if today will be my day as well.”

Accordingly to the CDC & the FBI, nearly 80 transgender and gender non-conforming Americans have been killed since January 2017.

“Why would you try to tear someone down for just simply living their life?” asked Webb.

On Wednesday, advocates gathered with candles to remember those slain.

“Everybody’s human and everybody’s unique,” said Kori Hennessey, director of education and programs at the LGBT Center of Raleigh. “There’s a lot of things that folks do throughout their lives that may be seen as different, but they’re not getting murdered over those things.”

LGBTQIA+ advocates are pushing for more education, resources and overall awareness on the matter.

They’re asking community members to take the time to learn more, so it can be a safer and more accepting world for everyone.

“It’s hard for everybody involved, but patience takes time and it just takes learning and growing,” said Hennessey.

Recent FBI data shows an increase in hate crimes targeting people because of their gender identity.

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