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Friday, November 20, 2009

INTERNATIONAL TRANSGENDER DAY OF REMEMBRANCE



Today is the 11th annual International Transgender Day of Remembrance; and on this day memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on November 28th, 1998 kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Rita Hester’s murder — like most anti-transgender murder cases — has yet to be solved.

Although not every person represented during the Day of Remembrance self-identified as transgender — that is, as a transsexual, crossdresser, or otherwise gender-variant — each was a victim of violence based on bias against transgender people.

We live in times more sensitive than ever to hatred based violence, especially since the events of September 11th. Yet even now, the deaths of those based on anti-transgender hatred or prejudice are largely ignored. Over the last decade, more than one person per month has died due to transgender- based hate or prejudice, regardless of any other factors in their lives. This trend shows no sign of abating.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance serves several purposes. It raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people, an action that current media doesn’t perform. Day of Remembrance publicly mourns and honors the lives of our brothers and sisters who might otherwise be forgotten. Through the vigil, we express love and respect for our people in the face of national indifference and hatred. Day of Remembrance reminds non-transgender people that we are their sons, daughters, parents, friends and lovers. Day of Remembrance gives our allies a chance to step forward with us and stand in vigil, memorializing those of us who’ve died by anti-transgender violence.

The day also allows transgender people around the globe to gather in solidarity and present to society in a loving and peaceful way generating awareness and education about transpeople and the issues they face.

"It has also been a time to reflect on the fear, violence and discrimination that affects many trans people's lives."

If you cannot attend an event, please light a candle or remember all those who have been harmed or perished due to hatred, homophobia, fear, intolerance of sexuality, appearance, or gender identity. I KNOW WILL…

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