Qmmunity: Trans Day of Remembrance

Plus events for Trans Week of Resilience, Drag Fest returns for year five, and more

Remembering who we've lost, while celebrating the ones we've got (Photo by Getty Images)

November 20 marks the 20th anniversary of Trans Day of Remembrance. Austin's annual vigil, hosted by Transgender Education Network of Texas, returns Wednesday, but this time TENT's teamed up with Austin Black Pride. When asked why, ABP's Sheldon Darnell told me: "Honestly, the partnership just made sense." It does. This year alone, at least 22 trans and GNC people, mostly black trans women, have been killed in the U.S., including Dallas' Muhlaysia Booker and Chynal Lindsey. In the 20 years since TDOR began, the "number of trans people we're losing to senseless acts of hate hasn't decreased," said Darnell, "it's increased." Which is why both Darnell and TENT's Rocky Lane "recognized a need for non-trans QPOC to show up to support our trans family" in an effort to break down ignorance. The goal for Wednesday's event – with a revamped ceremony run and designed by trans, GNC, enby, and/or POC folks – is to "put the power into the hands" of Austinites and offer a new perspective to help attendees feel more connected.

The ceremony will include Naomi Wilson and Franki Phoenix reading the names of those murdered in 2019, while volunteers hand out flowers to the trans community in attendance to help visualize our loss. For folks looking to lend a loving hand, volunteers are still needed. Darnell says they could use help facilitating the ceremony from local trans, enby, and GNC qmmunity members – specifically folks willing to distribute those aforementioned flowers. They'd also love to have people step into the role of ushers to ultimately create a warm, inviting space to feel all the feels. Also worth noting: Grief counselors will be on-site if needed or desired. Allies are also welcome (and encouraged) to lend a hand – those available between 5-6:30pm can help with setup, and donations are "very much" needed. While a fee waiver is available to any and all who can't afford the suggested $5 donation, Darnell explains that funds from the qmmunity and allies will greatly help in executing the event (refreshments will be provided after the ceremony and "trained security professionals" will be part of TDOR's safety team). To get involved, email Lane at: rocky.lane@transtexas.org.

While it's incredibly important to honor those we've lost to hate – Texas is leading the nation in trans murders – it's also crucial to celebrate, and support, the living, which is why a mixer and community conversation will follow the ceremony. This, organizers hope, will help folks come together to mourn and decompress as needed. As Darnell and Lane remind us, "Hate is not breaking the trans community. We will continue to rise up." Wed., Nov. 20, 6pm. YMCA TownLake (1100 W. Cesar Chavez), $5 suggested donation.

2 To Do

Austin Drag Festival A wild weekend featuring nearly 400 performances from the fiercest drag stars this side of the Mississippi (and beyond). Join Papi Churro and Chique Fil-Atio's ToyBOX: AIDF Roulette to close it out Sunday at Kick Butt Coffee. Thu.-Sun., Nov. 14-17. Drag Village (6000 Middle Fiskville) & Downtown. $39+. www.austindragfest.org.

p1nkstar’s Big Birthday Party Revel in some serious Scorpio magic at this queer pop princess' birthday fundraiser (for Out Youth's Trans Wellness Program) featuring some of Austin's most iconic queers, including DJ sets by the birthday babe herself and La Morena, with shows by Louisianna Purchase, Ruby Knight, Tatiana Cholula, Yera, and Lars Russell. Tue., Nov. 19, 9pm-1:30am. Elysium, 705 Red River. $10-45 suggested donation.

Q'd Up

The Future of Ismael A QTPOC experimental sci-fi production. Thu.-Sat., Nov. 14-16, 8pm. Dougherty Arts Center, 1110 Barton Springs Rd. $20. www.genenco.org.

Double Tap W. Vivian Myers The newest play from Franny Harold and Mase Kerwick! Fri., Nov. 15, 8pm. Fallout Theater, 616 Lavaca. $10-12.

Camp Wannakiki Drag Show Our lovely Miss Kitty Litter reunites with her castmates! Fri., Nov. 15, 9pm. The Iron Bear, 121 W. Eighth.

EqTX: Celebrate Three decades strong! Sat., Nov. 16, 6pm. AT&T Conference Center, 1900 University Ave.

Mydolls 40 Years Strong Texas' iconic darkwave band, with Hey Jellie and the Sophies. Sat., Nov. 16, 6-9pm. Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River. $5-10.

Out Youth’s Glitz Gala Get fancy and dancy for queer youth. Sat., Nov. 16, 7-11pm. Fair Market, 1100 E. Fifth. $100. www.outyouth.org.

Thee Gay Agenda’s Rendezvous EAST A night of laughs, body positivity, and qmmunity bonding. Sat., Nov. 16, 7-11pm. 2208 Willow. Free.

Martini Ranch: Weird Gay Vibes It's the return of the ultra-queer, quite surreal sketch comedy. Saturdays, 8:30pm. ColdTowne Theater, 4803-B Airport. $12.

Lesbian Wedding The fan fave returns! Sun., Nov. 17, 2-8pm. Sahara Lounge, 1413 Webberville Rd. $5-10.

CAll Her Ganda Meet Diversidad Sin Fronteras members while watching. Mon., Nov. 18, 7pm. Mexican American Cultural Center, 600 River St.

Trans Awareness Panel On issues facing the trans community and how allies can show up. Tue., Nov. 19, 6pm. Facebook, 300 W. Sixth.

Die Felicia Getcher scream (queens) on. Thu., Nov. 21, 10pm. Elysium, 705 Red River.

Want more queer? Visit austinchronicle.com/qmmunity

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Austin LGBTQ, Transgender Day of Remembrance, TDOR, Austin International Drag Festival, Transgender Education Network of Texas, Rocky Lane, Sheldon Darnell, Austin Black Pride

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