Statement from The GLO Center:
Today we all are taking time out of our lives to mourn the loss of one our own, Ally Steinfeld. Ally’s mother, Amber, asked that I pass along appreciation for all of your many condolences on the death of her daughter. She said “I never realized how many lives she had touched outside of family and school. I know she touched my life forever as a mom and friend. I deeply miss my cuddle bug.”
Ally Steinfeld was viciously taken from her mother, her family, and her community.
Ally Steinfeld’s murder was a hate crime. The time for carefully chosen, diplomatic language is behind us.
We will no longer remain silent while our transgender and LGB people are victims of horrific violence and tragedy. We will speak out loudly and unabashedly for our community. All of us - every human being - deserves dignity, respect, and the ability to live as our true selves. As long as we continue to live in fear and sadness, cautiously processing our feelings after stories of assault, harassment, and murder reach our doorsteps, we will have to accept we are not doing enough. We share a responsibility, as leaders, to speak out – loudly and definitively – for those who may not have a voice, or those who fear the consequences if they do
Many transgender people live their daily lives in fear, afraid for their safety in public places as well as safe spaces. Ally died a horrendous death at the hands of people she thought cared about her. She was murdered in her new home. She should have been safe. She should have been protected. This is our reminder: until all of us are safe and protected, we have important work to accomplish together.
As Springfield leaders, we have joined our voices, strengths, and missions to condemn this act of hatred and violence. We stand here today because our transgender family cannot – whether out of fear, threat of violence, or because of silencing from anti-transgender thoughts we see and hear shared every single day. We stand here to say this is unacceptable. We stand here to say this is not what Missouri, or the United States should be. We stand here because we can be better. We can be unified against these acts of violence and hatred. Hate crimes are too common. A single one is too many. They must stop.
We stand here to demand an end to anti-transgender violence. -
We expect change, compassion, and understanding.
We demand Texas County Sheriff’s Dept. fulfill the the public trust and include Ally’s gender identity in their investigation.
We demand law enforcement across the state and country provide better training for their officers on how recognize and minimize their implicit biases.
We demand law enforcement across the state and country provide better training for their officers on how to treat our transgender family.
We charge each of you listening today to call out hate speech when hear it.
We charge each of you in attendance to be brave and call out offensive jokes, comments, and slurs. Especially when the person saying them is someone you love and respect, we need you to be brave because our lives depend on it.
We expect you as allies to spread the word “we don’t say those things here.”
We do not accept hate in the Queen City of the Ozarks.
We hope the memory of Ally Steinfeld’s strength, grace, and legacy will help us unite against hate.