Illinois State University Pride organization hold march & vigil honoring black transgender lives

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NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — ISU Pride President Emily Patterson say transgender people are more likely to be targeted and killed because of their choice to transition, specifically black transgender women.

She says more legal protections and social acceptance needs to happen if we want to create a better future for all.

With transgender day of remembrance less than a week away, leaders with ISU Pride took to the streets of Normal, demanding people show respect to those who want to feel comfortable in their own body.

“I know for a lot of people, they don’t understand how much pain happens within the community, especially black trans people,” said ISU Pride social media manager Ava Wendel.

She says people are shocked to hear what people from the transgender community have to go through.

“When I tell people that black trans people are targeted, and they’re killed more than other trans people or just anyone in general, they’re surprised by it,” said Wendel.

President Emily Patterson says now more than ever, they need our support and there are ways you can help.

“First thing is looking out for the trans people in your lives, making sure that you are respecting them with their correct names, their correct pronouns, things like that. But also donating to and supporting trans causes, you know there’s a lot of organizations doing a lot of really good work on the ground and they need funds to keep doing what they’re doing,” said Patterson.

She says those looking to get more information can always reach out.

“If you’re a member of the McLean County community, then you can email Pride, message us on our social medias, we’re more than happy to answer questions whenever,” said Patterson.

But she says to create change, you have to start looking toward elected officials.

“Calling your representatives, mailing them, all that stuff to fight for those protections, legal protections for trans people,” said Patterson.

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