Rainbow Commission logoUPDATED Nov. 21: The LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission is a local volunteer organization dedicated to promoting full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ individuals and groups in Arlington. Monday, Nov. 20, the group invited residents to a commemoration of Transgender Day of Resilience. Similar events have been held in previous years.

This event took place on the front lawn of the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 630 Mass. Ave. Members of the Rainbow Commission and the Rev. Erica Richmond of the First Parish congregation honored the resilience of trans, nonbinary and gender-expansive people. 

The event was established in 2015 to honor the lives of trans, non-binary and gender- expansive people whose lives have been lost to bias-motivated violence. According to a recent news article by NBC, the Human Rights Campaign has just reported that nearly three dozen such people throughout the United States fell victim to hate-related homicide since November 2022, with nearly 90 percent of them being people of color.

Before the commemoration, the group hosted a social event at 6:15 p.m. at First Parish Congregation, with refreshments provided, and with supplies set to be given out to create art and write poetry.

Also known as a day of remembrance, the annual observance was noted by President Biden, who spoke about it recently.

'Youth on Fire,' volunteer opportunities
In other news, the Rainbow Commission is actively collecting items for Youth on Fire, a Cambridge-based organization that provides a confidential drop-in space for young people who are unhoused or experiencing unstable housing. Personal hygiene products such as toothpaste, deodorant and combs; gender-affirming apparel such as chest binders and gaffs; and warm-weather gear such as hats and gloves are needed, according to an email announcement. 

Thosewho may want to help at other upcoming events are welcome; they may sign up on the volunteer survey to state their interests.

These news briefs, based on the town's LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission newsletter, were last updated Nov. 20 and 21, 2023, with an account of national statistics on homicide-related deaths of transgender, non-binary and gender-expansive people and a link to an article about the U.S. president marking the occasion.