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LGBTQ+ Organizations Host Discussion, Screening, Vigil To Commemorate Trans Weekend of Resilience

Community members will gather this weekend to celebrate the resilience of the trans community, continue to address the challenges they face and mourn those who've been lost to violence.

Mourners light candles at a vigil to honor Elise Malary, a prominent transgender advocate who died in March 2022.
Jake Wittich/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — A group of LGBTQ+ community organizations will host a meeting Saturday to discuss the top concerns of Chicago’s trans community, with a focus on housing, employment, justice and safety. 

The town hall is 11:45 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at The Kehrein Center For The Arts, 5628 W. Washington Blvd. You can RSVP for the event here. Doors open at 11 a.m.

The discussion is one part of Trans Weekend of Resilience, a three-day event to celebrate the trans community’s strength and tackle discrimination trans people face. 

A celebration of drag will kick off the weekend, starting with a screening of the documentary “Being BeBe,” which charts the life of drag performer BeBe Zahara Benet.

The screening and discussion will be 5:30-8 p.m. Friday at DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center, 740 E. 56th Place. You can register here

After the movie, participants can stick around to listen to Benet talk about the liberating potential of drag and its positive impact on the queer community. Then, they can head to the after-party, where they’ll find drinks, appetizers and drag performances, according to organizers.

Sunday marks Transgender Day of Resilience, which was established by a trans advocate in 1999 to commemorate the death of her friend and other transgender individuals who have been lost to violence. 

“Every year, unfortunately, becomes the deadliest year for trans people to date …. causing a need to set aside a specific day for our community to collectively mourn and speak power in the names of our trans siblings that we’ve lost,” according to the event’s website. 

At least 32 transgender or gender-non-conforming people have been killed in violent crimes in 2022, according to the Human Rights Campaign

There will be a vigil 3 p.m Sunday at the Chicago Therapy Collective, 5237 N. Clark St., to honor transgender people who’ve been killed. Attendees can come early to add cards and other offerings to the chalk mural, organizers said. 

After the vigil, there will be a fire ceremony at 3:45 p.m. to make space for “healing and reimagining of a future free from anti-trans violence.” Click here for more information. 

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