Join us with a number of
partnering organizations on the steps of the
Pennsylvania Capitol Building for this annual
candlelight ceremony memorializing those who we have
lost due to suicide or were
killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice.
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 transgender — that
is, as a transsexual, crossdresser, or otherwise
gender-variant — many were a victim of violence
based on bias against transgender people or were
themselves overwhelmed with despair.
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 the high
suicide rate of and hate crimes
against transgender 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 gone and celebrate the presence and future of
those transgender people that are still among us.
Day of Remembrance reminds non-transgender 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 we lost.