GLENS FALLS -- As the Sunday afternoon sun dropped below the horizon and the chilly temperatures dipped into the 30s, a quiet gong chimed 40 times as a circle of people stood, holding candles, next to the bandstand behind Crandall Library.

Time and again, a quiet voice read someone’s name, then explained how the person – who was transgender or supported transgender people – had been murdered in the past year.

Each time a name was read, Christopher Argyros of the Empire State Pride agenda, tapped the gong, sending a note into the evening.

The memorial service came at the halfway point of a Transgender Day of Remembrance sponsored by the Pride Agenda and the Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council. The first part of the event was held at the Crandall Library and included five speakers. It was followed by the vigil, which was officiated by the Rev. Philip Richards of Christ Church United Methodist Church. A reception at LARAC followed the vigil.

Transgender remembrance days have been held for 14 years, and a similar event, also sponsored by the Pride Agenda, will be held Tuesday, Nov. 20, in Albany.

“This is a good turnout,” Argyros said. “We are really glad to reach out to Glens Falls this year.”

Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward (R-Willsboro), who represents the 113th District and is stepping down in January, was among the speakers, as were the mothers of two transgender individuals and a transgender man.

“There was not a dry eye in the house,” LARAC’S Candice Frye said of the talk by Mary Moss, who is the mother of a 14-year-old transgender boy. “Her story touched everyone.”

Janet Cordes, whose daughter Drew is a former Glens Falls resident, spoke about her family’s experiences, and Stephani Krzysik, a transgender woman spoke about her life’s journey. The final speaker was a teen-age transgender boy.

At the vigil, the Rev. Richards reflected on the importance of people to be able to be themselves and wondered out loud why others couldn’t accept that.

“The best thing people can do for the world is to be themselves. We are all different, but we all have a common bond.” He said. “We all want to be loved. You should love yourself first.

“Why are people so threatened by transgender folks?” he asked. “Why are people ridiculed? Why are people harassed, even killed just for who they are? Haven’t we evolved?”

(6) comments

newshound

interesting that you say people should be themselves, but these people are deciding to be someone different. i am so against this mutilation of ones body ...what folks need to do is accept what they were born with and stop mucking around with nature... parents that encourage this and doctors that do this should be ashamed of themselves. whats next, someone thinks they were born a dog so we are going to medically make them a dog.. get over yourself..go do some volunteer work and stop thinking you are so important... i dont want to spend any tax money or chip in on your medical insurance to cover this nonsense.

dreu77

As someone who very rarely gets into any discussion on here I have to put my foot down when it come to someone being so ignorant. I am transgender and a volunteer firemen. I have done volunteer work most of my life. I have never asked for any money for surgeries nor have I asked to be treated any different by society, they just do. For a long time now, I have tried to protect my close friends from being ridiculed by people like you just because of who I am. My current girlfriend asked me why I felt the need to do this? My reply was I don't want anyone to have to go through what I have..being put down constantly, not acquiring jobs I had applied for (and trust me I have the skill sets and more that were needed), the stares and glares, and I think the worst is you people makes us feel like we have done something wrong. Nothing is wrong with us, I am proud of who I am. But, I do not forget what I have gone through to be myself and finally be free. Please educate before commenting!!

newshound

i will say yours is a good reply..but i still think everyone should deal with the cards dealt them and learn how to accept that.. chastity bono is an example of someone who needed psychological help not more surgeries in my opinion... and there is a gentleman in prison i ny state that is suing the state to pay for his surgery to become a woman and it would all be paid by the tax dollars. we do not have the money to do stupid things at this point and that is a stupid thing...i am sorry...forever back in time folks made due without drugging and surgeries ..life was hard enough without folks running around oh i feel different, i am not happy i want this i want that.... people need to toughen up and maybe they wouldn't be ridiculed if they just accepted themselves rather than go on a never-ending quest for happiness.

volunteertoo

Educate yourself, 'newshound'...
"transgendered" describes a diverse and broad range of PEOPLE whose outward appearance and/or sense of self, in terms of "M" and "F" designations, is variant from the "M" or "F" that was designated for them at birth. You seem to think that it refers only to those who medicinally and/or surgically make changes to their bodies to, as YOU would say, "become what they're not." Reality is, being transgendered is all about accepting and embracing your inner self and outwardly taking a brave stand to be that person, often in the face of ridicule and judgment from others who are eager to ram societal norms down another persons throat.
Your references to "dogs", "volunteer work", "tax money" and "insurance" show how very little you actually know about trans folks. Just as you feel the need to be true to your jerk self with your comment, they too are people who are trying to be true to themselves. Without the "jerk" part.

PAWS31

Very easy for someone who is "normal" to spew such ignorance. Nature isn't perfect. Regardless of why some people are physically born a certain sex, but are truly the other is very real. This is a constant and deep emotional struggle, that effects every corner/aspect of their life. @Newshound, as you said yourself "...if they just accepted themselves....." that is exactly what many of these individuals are doing. They are becoming who they really are. If you (Newshound) are a man, then picture yourself with right now (everything about you exactly the same) BUT, you have all the female anatomy. I'm sure it would be very awkward (to say the least) for you. As if transgenders don't have it hard enough, they come across people such as yourself..... that are just ignorant, judgmental, intolerant and have just not a clue. Many have taken their own lives over this exact struggle. They don't need people like you, with your insensitivity and a clear lack of understanding.

volunteertoo

well said, scottycc31.

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