San Mateo County honors 30th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance

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ByWayne Freedman KGO logo
Saturday, November 21, 2020
San Mateo County honors Transgender Day of Remembrance
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Friday marks Transgender Day of Remembrance, which honors transgender people who lost their lives to prejudice, bigotry and hate.

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (KGO) -- It's not every day that supervisors raise a transgender flag above San Mateo County Hall.

Maybe it happens on one day a year, November 20th. A day with a name and a purpose.

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"This is not only the day of trans remembrance, but trans resistance," said Kin Folkz, a trans activist and art teacher, though this is not the name they were given.

"I was born Kin Folkz, I was named Monica Anderson."

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The language around gender is rapidly evolving, as more and more people break out of the standard gender definition.

Today, Kin edited clips for nine films that will show this weekend at the Lake Chabot Observatory as part of the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

That word 'remembrance' is the most important. Last year, 33 transgender people died at the hand of others across this country.

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"When you look at a life expectancy of every group in the mid-thirties, you develop an us and them mentality," said Kin. "Trans is not about the body, but the gender. Your spirit. My spirit is they/them expansive. My gender is spirit."

You may remember Kin for an art project in Oakland, last July. It took the form of 1,590 feet of colored letters on Bellevue Avenue.

From a distance or above, you could see how they spell these words: "All Black Trans Queer Non Binary Women Disabled and Imprisoned Lives Matter:"

Art with the message Black Trans Queer Lives Matter is pictured.
Art with the message Black Trans Queer Lives Matter is pictured.

"It is not because we are bad people," said Kin. "It is because we are given no platform to say our lives matter."

They certainly do on The Transgender Day of Remembrance, now in its 30th year. Though really, those sentiments and memories apply every day for this community.