As she helped the transgender community honour the memory of trans people lost to violence and suicide, Charlotte Gauthier's thoughts were transfixed on remembering one good friend in particular.
Gauthier was among those who observed Transgender Day of Remembrance during a commemoration at Corner Brook's city hall Nov. 20..
Gauthier, who attended with friend Quinn Jesso, took some time to reflect on the life of her friend, Krys Kavanagh, who died by suicide in August.
She described Kavanagh, a trans man, as one of the biggest advocates for trans rights in the Corner Brook area.
After Gauthier came out as trans, they became friends.
She felt Kavanagh was someone she could relate to, as both were in their 30's and had children.
“For me to come out and try to find anyone close to the same situation as I was, it was Krys,” she told The Western Star. “He had family, he had kids, he was older.”
She says predecessors like Kavanagh paved the way for people like her.
“I appreciate everything he has done and I really wish he was still around,” she said.
Jesso, representing the Community Mental Health Initiative and Corner Brook Pride, felt the town’s observance of the day was a positive step in furthering transgender acceptance within the community.
“Days like this is to show families and loved ones who have lost people because of acts of violence and suicide that those people will not be forgotten,” she told The Western Star.
Deputy Mayor Bill Griffin was joined by Jesso, Gauthier and dignitaries from AIDS Committe NL, the Corner Brook Status of Women's Coucil, the RNC and other community representatives, to sign a proclamation declaring Transgender Day of Remembrance in Corner Brook.
A flag was also raised in the civic square outside city hall to mark the day.