New group supports transgender people in DuluthThe purpose of the new Lake Superior Transgender Groups is to provide support for transgender people in the area and also to make the public better aware of issues they face in society.
By: Mike Creger, Duluth News Tribune
The purpose of the new Lake Superior Transgender Groups is to provide support for transgender people in the area and also to make the public better aware of issues they face in society.
Part of that mission was the vigil held Tuesday at the corner of Superior Street and Lake Avenue, part of the worldwide Transgender Day of Remembrance.
Nathalie Crowley said transgender people endure more violence from others because of a lack of understanding.
“People don’t like what they don’t know,” she said as luminaries were placed above placards with the names of transgender murder victims from across the world.
The Lake Superior group was started in the spring and is slowly making itself known in the region, Crowley said.
“People live in silence,” she said. They suffer in silence. They aren’t aware of the numbers of people who are out there.”
Kathy Hermes from Lutheran Social Service helped organize the one-hour vigil that began at 4 p.m. She has been heading up a group funded by LSS since 1995 that supports gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender people and those questioning their sexuality.
The support group hosts monthly meetings of transgender people and their friends and family members at 104 E. Superior St., next to the Joe Jitters Coffee House.
Family, friends and allies of transgender people meet the first Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. Transgender people meet at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month.
The groups talk about dealing with “transphobia,” Crowley said. Transgender people not only deal with violence against them based on their sexuality but also face discrimination in housing and the workplace, she said.
She said the response to the group has been good and people are finding resources and support.
“We want people to know that we’re around and ready to help,” Crowley said.