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Remembering Transgender Tragedies

Remembering Transgender Tragedies

Vigil during last year’s Transgender Day of Remembrance

Next Thursday, November 20 is the 10th-annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. Events all over the country will be dedicated to remembering the far too many transgender people who are killed each year, as well as those that face brutal discrimination off all kinds on a daily basis.

Although there have been some small steps forward—including the passage of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) in the New York State Assembly last year—the transgender community faces a disproportionate amount of violence.

Housing Works East New York will be holding a vigil from 6 to 7:30 p.m on Nov. 20. to express love and respect for transgender individuals in the face of national indifference and hatred.

The number of reported acts of violence against transgender women is on the rise, although that could reflect the fact that more people are comfortable coming forward to report these acts of violence.

This year Duanna Johnson, a transgender woman, was brutally beaten by cops in a Nashville jail. Although this incident gained traction because it was caught on tape, there are all too many cases of violence against transgender people that goes unreported.

This somber date raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people, something the mainstream media often fails to do. On this Day of Remembrance we publicly mourn and honor the lives of our brothers and sisters who might otherwise be forgotten.

History of hurt

The Transgender Day of Remembrance was founded in 1999. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on November 28, 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.

Posted on November 13, 2008 at 12:56 am