Donate to the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign

Dozens gather for Transgender Day of Remembrance in Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A flag for the transgender community flew half-staff on Sunday in Midtown as people remembered those who lost their lives and became victims of violence.

Candles lit up the block outside of OUT Memphis as the flames shined a light on a dark situation.

"Today is in remembrance of those who've lost their lives to anti-trans violence," Kayla Gore, trans services specialist with OUT Memphis, said.

Some people broke down into tears, while others called out the names of those who aren't alive anymore.

"When you hear about it in New York, you hear about it in Atlanta, you're like 'Okay, wow this is happening.' Then when you hear about it in your own backyard, it's like, wow this could be me," Gore explained.

In 2016, the Human Rights Campaign counted 21 transgender people who were killed across the country.

That was the same number of trans men and trans women killed in all of the last year.

"A year ago one of my children told us that she's trans," Edie Love said.

For people like Love, issues affecting the trans community in Memphis hit close to home.

"It's frightening when you look at the statistics for what happens to trans women. It's not pretty," she said.

The mother and soon-to-be minister is working to be a part of the solution.

"It became a whole lot more personal," Love told WREG.

"I was a victim so many times where I just felt like I wanted to give up, but I had people in my like that supported me," Love said.

It is that support the transgender community in Memphis said it needs from people in the Mid-South as they work to put a stop to the violence.

"We're all here for a reason, and we can serve as each others support system."

For trans-friendly resources in the Memphis area, visit the Trans Best of Memphis guide.