Metro Weekly

Activists to Host Memorial Service for Overdose Victims

The service will honor LGBTQ overdose victims while calling attention to the ongoing opioid crisis in the United States.

Transgender activist Earline Budd - File Photo: Todd Franson/Metro Weekly
Transgender activist Earline Budd – File Photo: Todd Franson/Metro Weekly

Members of the District’s transgender community will be hosting a memorial service for their fellow transgender people who died of drug overdoses this upcoming weekend.

Over the past 60 days, several transgender individuals have died of drug overdoses — an increasingly common occurrence in the United States, fueled in part by the opioid crisis, in which people have been prescribed strong pain-relief narcotics, become addicted, and subsequently have sought out non-prescription opioids like heroin and fentanyl to mimic the high they achieved on the prescription medicines.

Activists within the LGBTQ community have sounded the alarm that the abundance of drugs, and the overdoses that can result from them, are going largely unnoticed and have not received much attention.

“While drug overdoses are not classified as murder, we still within our community call them murder,” transgender activist and harm reduction specialist Earline Budd said in a statement announcing the service. “There should be no rest in the LGBTQ community when these triages are still happening.”

To call attention to the overdose epidemic, activists have plaed a citywide memorial service, to be held on Saturday, March 18, at 11 a.m. at the Metropolitan Community Church of D.C., located a 474 Ridge St. NW.

Among those community members who will be honored and remembered at the service are Terri Holland, Kenneth Isaac, Lourica Potts, Danielle Pinkney, and Diva. 

“Transgender individuals are experiencing violence locally and around the country almost every day,” Budd said. “We must come together as one community to address this impact of substance abuse within the LBGTQ that are causing us to loss precious lives.”

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