Updated 10:03 am, Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Photos: Paul Kuroda, Special To The Chronicle
A candlelight vigil was held Monday night in San Francisco for several transgender victims of the Oakland warehouse fire.
Several dozen people gathered at Harvey Milk Plaza at Market and Castro streets to mourn their transgender friends and relatives, most of whose deaths have not yet been confirmed.
Thirty-six bodies have been found in the converted warehouse on 31st Avenue and International Boulevard, where dozens of partyers were trapped when a fire broke out Friday night during an electronic music performance by Golden Donna 100% Silk.
The mourners Monday prayed next to dozens of candles laid out on an ornate tapestry surrounded by homemade signs with names of victims or people still missing. A rainbow-colored ribbon was draped over a railing behind the candles.
“The fire was horrendous,” said the Rev. Cameron Partridge, 43, a priest at St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church, “and we’re realizing increasingly that there were a number of trans folks there that were part of our community.”
Nobody knows exactly how many of their brethren were killed, said the Rev. Megan Rohrer, a transgender Lutheran pastor in San Francisco, because most people in the community use different names from what’s on their birth certificates, which investigators use to identify victims.
“It’s not known if we will be able to identify all of the individuals,” Rohrer said, adding that “your tears will be my tears.”
Tracy Garza, a board member at the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco, said the people living in the warehouse community known as the Ghost Ship were there mostly because they had no other affordable place to go where transgender people can live and thrive.