By Mekialaya White

DENVER (CBS4) – The community is coming together to honor the lives of those lost to hateful violence, as part of the “Transgender Day of Remembrance.” This year, 22 transgender individuals have been killed across the U.S.

Colorado advocate Andrew Miller says that number is far too high; one life lost is one too many. So, he felt compelled to bring the event to Denver Health for the first time this year.

Miller, who is the lead trainer for the LGTBQ Center of Excellence, says the cause is close to his heart.

“I identify as a transgender man,” he told CBS4’s Mekialaya White. “And as a white person who generally isn’t read as trans, I hold a lot of privilege in the way that I navigate this world. Because of that privilege, it’s important for me to make sure I’m standing up for folks who are really dealing with the intersectionalities of multiple identities, and that’s still showing up here in Colorado.”

Andrew Miller

Andrew Miller (credit: CBS)

Of the 22 trans individuals who have been killed in 2019, 20 were black trans women.

“I believe that is so tied to looking at racism and transphobia and sexism and those intersections of marginalized identities,” he explained.

Miller says those mindsets can be changed with more awareness and understanding.

“Folks can get really nervous about being PC or not. And I like us to get away from that framework. This is about respecting people. I ask people to educate themselves,” he said.

transgender remembrance day

(credit: CBS)

Denver Health’s Transgender Day of Remembrance is open to everyone, and Miller encourages all LGBTQ allies to come in support, not just those identifying as transgender and gender non-confirming. Allies are everything, he says.

“We need that room to be packed. We need to show Coloradans that we care for our trans and gender non-conforming communities. We will not stand for this and we will hold space for you.”

The event begins at 6:30 on Wednesday night in the Rita Bass Trauma & EMS Education Institute building, 190 West 6th Avenue. It will feature a vigil, art, and music. Those with questions are encouraged to call (303) 436-6000.

Mekialaya White

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