Across the State of South Dakota around the nation, November 20 is a somber day to honor and remember those who died at the hands of violence, being a target due to their transgender Identity.

South Dakota resident, Terri Bruce, who is transgender says anti-trans measures like the so-called "bathroom bills" in many state legislatures, are endangering trans individuals and communities. This year, advocates for the community will be honoring 25 people who lost their lives, the highest number ever recorded for the remembrance. 

"It's also a day to remember that we can't live any other way. We have to be who we truly are, and we do it despite the violence that might be perpetrated against us."

Governor Dennis Daugarard vetoed the bill passed by the legislature last year, saying the measure was "a solution in search of a problem." The bill would have required students to use the restrooms and locker rooms that matched their sex at birth.

Bruce says education is the best approach to greater understanding.

"That's hearing from a transgender person what it means to be transgender, and giving people a broader understanding of all the variabilities in humanity" says Bruce. "You know, there are over 7 billion people on the planet and to me, that means there are over 7 billion ways to be a human being."


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