LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – A Hampden County town remembered transgender individuals Monday night, who have been victims of violence.

A candlelight vigil was held in front of the First Church of Christ in Longmeadow, in recognition of the 25th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. This is the first-of-its-kind event in the town.

Those in attendance held candles while standing together in silence to remember the victims. According to data, 50 transgender individuals died from violence, including suicide, in the U.S. this past year.

Those standing in solidarity telling 22News this is also a way to shed light on the human rights of this community and call for an end to transphobia. “I think that people fear what they don’t know. And when you know people it makes all the difference in the world and that’s what we have to do, said the Chair of Social Justice Team at First Church of Christ, Mary Friedman.

More than 40 percent of transgender adults have attempted suicide. The majority were those who were assigned female at birth.

Local News

Kayleigh Thomas is a digital reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2022. Follow Kayleigh on X @kayleighcthomas and view her bio to see more of her work.