Tomorrow is the Transgender Day of Remembrance – a chance to raise awareness about violence against transgender people and to mourn victims of hate crimes against transgender people. We observe the day in November to honour the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was murdered in Allston, Maine in November 1998.
It’s more than tragic to note the number of new victims each year. Likely the youngest this past year was Roy Antonio Jones III of New York, who was less than two years old when his mother’s boyfriend beat and choked him to try to make him “act like a little boy instead of a girl.” While Jones is too young to say if he was trans, his murder stemmed from transphobic attitudes.
It’s also deeply troubling that we continue to have to fight for dignity for victims, like Dana A. Larkin, who was shot three times in the head and who, despite identifying as a woman since she was 16, was maligned in the media as a “man posed as a female” and a “cross-dressing prostitute”.
If you’re in Vancouver, the gathering for the Day of Remembrance will start November 20 at 5:30 at the Carnegie Centre, 401 Main Street. The gathering will be followed by a march to SFU Harbour Centre. You can find more event details here.
Here’s the info for the vigil tomorrow night at 7 PM in Toronto.
For a more comprehensive list of events internationally, check out http://www.transgenderdor.org/ and feel free to add events in your community in the comments section.
If you can’t make it out to a vigil take a minute and visit the online Remembering Our Dead project, which came out of Rita Hester’s murder to help us remember the lives that have been lost to transphobic violence.