Remembering Those Lost to Anti-Transgender Violence
November 18, 2014
Transgender Day of Remembrance is on November 20th. It’s a day to commemorate the lives of trans people or people perceived to be trans who were murdered in acts of anti-transgender violence. It’s an important day that has been observed internationally by the transgender community and allies since 1998. Transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith started the Transgender Day of Remembrance in memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman of color who was murdered on November 28, 1998. This was an act of violence and senseless bigotry and not an uncommon occurrence. Rita Hester’s death sparked an outpouring of anger and support―inspiring the start of this day of commemoration.
The trans community has become more accepted over the past few years. There are trans characters and actors in mainstream media, such as Laverne Cox who plays Sophia on Orange is the New Black, Alex Newell who plays Unique on Glee and Candis Cayne who plays Ms. Hudson on Elementary. But we still have a long way to go. There are still hate crimes committed against trans people and negative representations of trans people in many media outlets.
I encourage you to participate in the Transgender Day of Remembrance and take a moment to reflect. Think about the lives lost due to transphobic hate crimes and join the effort to end violence against trans people. You can also learn more about this important day and consider attending a local event near you.