Years ago I would look at folks such as the Quakers and think, "That really is nice of them to support us, but I wonder why they have taken our cause?" Now I know. It was not that they wanted to simply be nice, it was that they knew it was the right thing to do.

We, as the community, now have a similar challenge and responsibility.

As Thanksgiving approaches we can certainly acknowledge the blessings our community has received this year. A supportive city council, governor, attorney general, lieutenant governor and city police chief are just a few examples. Our pride festival was an overwhelming success, not to mention marriage and adoption.

None of these good fortunes came by chance. Due to the courageousness of countless numbers of people who have gone before, today we celebrate. And as we know, there is much work to still be done.

Our transgender brothers and sisters still face blatant discrimination and bigotry. On Thursday, November 20th we will join together as we recognize Transgender Day of Remembrance. The annual ceremony pays homage to transgender people who have been the victims of the most violent of hate crimes.

If we do not fight for justice for transgender people the same way we have for marriage equality, shame on us. The civil rights of one segment of our community is no more important than that of another. We all deserve to be treated with respect and able to live with dignity.

Please join us on November 20th, 7PM, at the Byrd Theater in Carytown. You will be moved, I can promise you. You will be different when you leave.