London celebrations

The Day – New London floral vigil remembers deceased queer and transgender people of color

New London – On the steps of City Hall, OutCT held its third annual ‘Everyone Deserves Pride’ vigil on Tuesday evening in a bid to remember transgender people of color who have lost their lives in the United States Last year.

The date – June 28 – marked the 53rd anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and the 52nd anniversary of Pride.

“This specific thing I’m doing here is raising awareness for people that this company thinks they can just throw away,” said Chevelle Moss-Savage, OutCT’s acting president and event organizer.

The 37 queer and transgender people of color, or QTPOC, who lost their lives last year were honored with 37 white carnations. Each person’s name and photo were wrapped around a flower and placed on a makeshift altar after their name was read aloud to those in attendance.

Moss-Savage addressed the crowd about the history and significance of the event before board member Kia Baird led everyone in a group prayer.

“We are grateful today to have the opportunity to celebrate the lives of these beautiful brothers and sisters who have been lost to us,” Baird said.

The new Mayor of London, Michael Passero, then took to the podium and presented OutCT with a resolution on behalf of the City and the City Council, a number of whose members were present.

“This is a City of New London resolution supporting LGBTQ+ rights,” Passero read.

“Therefore, be it resolved that the Mayor and Council of the City of New London recognize that LGTBQ+ rights are human rights and are constitutionally protected,” he continued.

Passero and a member of OutCT then ceremonially raised a pride flag waving in front of City Hall. The colors rippling on top were black and brown.

Nosamè Correia concluded the event with an interpretation of the song “Love” by Musiq Soulchild.

“Once you invite love,” Correia said afterwards, “you define fate.”

Moss-Savage helped move the Transgender Day of Remembrance event from November to June to “raise awareness of the intersections of who we are as a people.” She noticed during Black Lives Matter protests and vigils in 2020 that those who identify as trans or non-binary weren’t getting the same treatment as George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.

The Stonewall Riots began after police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in New York’s Greenwich Village. Marsha P. Johnson, a black trans woman, and Sylvia Rivera, a Latina trans woman, are credited with helping to spark the six days of protests on June 28, 1969.

Moss-Savage hopes for a day when vigils like the one on Tuesday night are no longer necessary. She looks forward to a world of “peace and love, acceptance and affirmation.”

But until then, she urges everyone not to stay silent.

“Covenant is a verb,” she said. “It’s not a name. It requires action.”

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