PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Several dozen people attended a candlelight vigil Wednesday night at Bicentennial Park in Parkersburg as part of the 20th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.
The day was meant to honor the memory of 22 transgender people whose lives have been lost in acts of anti-transgender violence so far in 2019.
The local observation was held in remembrance of Rita Hester, a transgender native of Boston who died in 1998.
"The murders of transgender women and men represent a tragic loss to their friends, their families and their communities," said Jeanne Peters, President of Out MOV, an LGBTQ organization whose goal is to improve the quality of life for people in the Mid-Ohio Valley. "Their deaths are not incidental but are the result of anti-transgender bias that permeates our culture."
"It should be noted that often these cases are misreported or often go unreported," said Danielle Thrasher, an Out MOV board member. "So, the amount that we know of is only what we know of. That's an approximation. There is probably tons more people out there."
Five dozen people attended the hour-long vigil, and more than a dozen spoke.