Inaugural Vigil for Transgender Day of Remembrance in Park Rapids Honors Victims
A group from Park Rapids came together Sunday to recognize the Transgender Day of Remembrance.
The Lgbtqia+ Park Rapids Area organization, run by Ryan Kern, held a vigil for transgender people who lost their lives this past year to violent acts or suicide. But the event also recognized the resilience shown from the community to keep on living despite these acts against them.
Despite the freezing temperatures and blowing winds, people gathered at Heartland Park to observe the event. The state of Minnesota began to recognize the day in 2020, and the vigil in Park Rapids was the inaugural event for the area.
There were 69 names read during the vigil. Each name was that of an individual who lost their life to violence or suicide this past year in the United States. The list also had a local connection with Asher Garcia, a 14-year-old transgender boy from Frazee who took his own life in April of 2022.
Along with remembering those who lost their lives this past year, advocates use this day to also inform people about the transgender community and the resilience they show despite these violent acts against them and the rest of the LGBTQ+ community. Through these vigils, it is a reminder of the past and what could be done to hopefully prevent violent crimes against these individuals in the future.
Another vigil is planned for next year. More information can be found by visiting the group’s Facebook page.
Any LGBTQ+ youth suffering from thoughts of self-harm are encouraged to contact The Trevor Project by calling 1-866-488-7386 or by texting “START” to 678-678.