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National Transgender Day of Remeberance

Posted by mandyf on November 20, 2008

Tommorow marks another year with Transgender Day of Remeberance. Sadly it is a day created to remember those who have passed, most as the victims of hate crimes based on their gender identity or presentation. It began after the 1998 murder of a Bostonian named Rita Hester. Rita was an extraoridinarily visible member of the the transgender community and dedicated her life to education focused on transgender issues. She was one of our strongest most visible advocates in a time where few would publicly stand and defend us.

It was on Saturday, Nov. 28th, Rita’s apartment was broken into and she was stabbed 20 times. She expired upon admittance to the hospital from cardiac arrest although the wounds she sustained would have taken her anyway. Her murderer (or mirderers) are still at large.

A year later author and advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith organized a memorial for Rita and the tradition has remained to this day. The violence against the transgender community has as well unfortunately. In the U.S. alone a transgender person has been murdered each month until current since the spring of 1996. Remembering our Dead lists over 280 transgender persons that have lost their lives as the victims of transgender motivated violence. Violence is actually getting worse than better statistically speaking, although that may be in part because the crimes are being reported and the police are taking them seriously- for the most part.

 So tommorow around the world, here in the U.S., Paris, Tel Aviv, Pescara, London, Bangkok, Melbourne, Auckland, and countless other cities, those who have been snuffed out for being who the are, being true to themself, will be remebered in vigils along with Rita. During your day, if you have a moment, say a prayer, send a positive thought, or whatever it is you do, for these people the world has lost and their family and friends that loved them.

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