COLUMBIA—Washington Street United Methodist Church recognized Transgender Day of Remembrance, Nov. 20, with a display of ribbons on its iron fence that faces Bull Street in downtown Columbia.
Forty-seven ribbons have been tied on the rungs of the iron fence to represent the murders and suicides of transgender individuals in the U.S.
“According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, the data shows that from Oct. 1, 2019, to Sept 30, 2020, the number of deaths was over 40. However, the worldwide number is over 350. Please remember those affected in your prayers,” said Jim Lane, chair of WSUMC’s Reconciling Ministries Next Team.
The ribbons are light blue, light pink and white to represent the colors in the trans flag. Each ribbon includes the name of one of the victims.
At least 28 transgender people have been murdered, or their death is suspicious, so far this year compared to 26 last year. According to data collected by the National Center for Transgender Equality, 23 of the victims were transgender women, four were transgender men and one was non-binary. The epidemic of violence is particularly pronounced for Black and Latina trans women.
WSUMC has always been known for its interest and support of social issues. We invite you to visit our website at wsmethodist.org to see the ways in which the congregation supports the community through its Soup Cellar mission, which has fed the homeless in downtown Columbia for over 40 years, as well as teams working towards racial justice and LBGTQ issues, along with opportunities to grow in faith and so much more.
WSUMC was established in 1803 and was the first Christian house of worship in Columbia. In January 2016, WSUMC updated its identity statement to reflect the vision of the church and its congregation: “The congregation of WSUMC praises and serves God from the heart of the city in ways which reach our neighbors near and far. We welcome and affirm all who seek the love and mercy of Christ regardless of race, creed, age, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or economic status. We honor traditions as rooted in our history, our expression of worship, and our respect for theological curiosity. We nonetheless see vital change and ongoing renewal as essential for spiritual growth.”
Learn more about Washington Street UMC at wsmethodist.org.