Trans Day of Remembrance @ Umass Boston on Nov. 20th
Please join the Queer Student Center of the University of Massachusetts, Boston for the 9th annual National Transgender Day of Remembrance on Tuesday, November 20th, 2007. Beginning at 5:30 pm in the Campus Center room UL-211, members of the community will be reading their poetry and prose and displaying their art. We will close with a vigil honoring those killed in anti-transgender violence.
The Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to 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 transgendered — that is, as a transsexual, cross dresser, or otherwise gender-variant — each was a victim of violence based on bias against transgendered 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 transgendered 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-transgendered 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.
©2005 Gwendolyn Ann Smith
For more information contact Darby Ruggeri (email@example.com) or Jessica Mesick (617-287-7981).