LONE TREE, Color. — Transgender Day of Visibility is a day to celebrate transgender people worldwide and raise awareness about the discrimination they face everyday.
This year, the community is also mourning the loss of a beloved transgender flight attendant and activist who died by suicide earlier this month.
Kayleigh Scott, 25, famously appeared in a 2020 United Airlines commercial commemorating International Trans Day of Visibility. She took her own life on March 23.
“Whenever you step out and say that you identify as transgender, or you step out and you say that you identify as the LGBTQ community, there's a target on your back," said Samora Kash, Kayleigh's friend and former United Airlines co-worker. "It takes people like Kayleigh, and it takes people even like myself, who are willing to stand up and say, "This is who I am." These are people who literally create and make change and leave a legacy behind.”
Kayleigh's loved ones are now honoring that legacy.
“These things are happening because people don't feel like they have a way out. And I just want this to be a message, if nothing else, that there is, and there are people that support and love and want to be there for anyone struggling," added Kash.
Kash describes Kayleigh as someone who was a bright light for so many.
"There's this sense in the world right now that a little bit of that has gone down with her absence," said Kash.
The community is coming event to honor Kayleigh through "Transcendence," an event created to raise money for Kayleigh's family and the Transgender Center of the Rockies. It will also offer a safe space for anyone who needs it.
“It's sad, and it brings on a lot of emotions. But I hope that at the end of the day, we can at least try and come together in some way so that we don't have to continue losing our friends and loved ones," added Kash.
Kash finds comfort knowing that Kayleigh touched so many lives, and adds that she's dedicated to keeping her memory alive.
"I know that she's not physically here. I know that she's not physically beside any of us or besides those that would want her to still be here. But what she's curated and what legacy and what life she's left behind has made for moments like this," she said. “I, as well as — I know so many others want to remember her as someone who had so much life and so much love and had so much to give the world. I hope that from this and going forward, that more people can say, "I'm ready just to be me."”
Transcendence will be held Friday, March 30 at Rare by Grist in Lone Tree, located at 9535 Park Meadows Drive. There will be performances by local trans and non-binary entertainers.
Anyone is welcome to attend. You can purchase tickets through this link or at the door.
If you or someone you know is struggling, help is available. You can call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 or the Trans Lifeline at (877) 565-8860.