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Transgender Awareness Week: November 14-19

November 9, 2017 - articles - ,

[Rita Hester (above) was murdered because she was a transgender person. Gwendolyn Ann Smith launched the Transgender Day of Remembrance to recognize Hester and other victims of violence against transgender persons.] 


NOVEMBER 20, 2017


Transgender Day of Remembrance, which honors the memory of those murdered in acts of anti-transgender violence, is recognized annually on November 20. GLAAD encourages journalists to mark the occasion with stories about the pervasive and persistent problem of violence committed against transgender people, as well as the diversity and resilience of the community in the face of harassment and violence.

Local observances may vary, so be sure to check with a local transgender organization, LGBTQ Center, Gay-Straight Alliance or other support groups likely to be participating. For more information about Transgender Day of Remembrance, visit tdor.info. See the schedule on this page of OutMemphis’ events.

Transgender Day of Remembrance is observed in late November in recognition of the 1998 murder of Rita Hester. Rita was a highly visible member of the transgender community in her native Boston, MA where she worked locally on education around transgender issues. On Saturday, Nov. 28, Rita was stabbed 20 times in her apartment. A neighbor called the police, and Rita was rushed to the hospital. She passed away from cardiac arrest only moments after being admitted. Almost two decades later, police still have not found Rita’s murderer (or murderers). In 1999, one year after Rita’s murder, advocate and writer Gwendolyn Ann Smith coordinated a vigil in Rita’s honor. The vigil commemorated not only Rita, but all who were tragically lost to anti-transgender violence.

In addition to the vigil, Smith launched the Transgender Day of Remembrance website to recognize and remember those whose lives have been lost to anti-transgender violence. Organizations throughout the world — from Groupe Activiste Trans in Paris to Human Rights Commission of Tel Aviv in Israel to Diritti in Movimiento in Pescara, Italy — have since taken to recognizing the day. Media coverage of Transgender Day of Remembrance often includes documenting lives lost to violence, as well as expounding on the all too frequent harassment, discrimination, and disenfranchisement transgender people experience on a regular basis.




November 14-19
Trans Awareness Week
OUTMemphis, 892 South Cooper Street
Contact Kayla Gore: kgore@outmemphis.org

Tuesday, November 14
Ice Cream Social | 6-8 pm
OUTMemphis, 892 South Cooper Street

Wednesday, November 15
Trans Awareness Week Community Summit
First Congregational Church | 12-2 pm
1000 Cooper Street
Connections between the community and organizations that provide services in the Mid-South.
Makeup artists will be on hand to provide makeovers and tutorials for Trans attendees.

Thursday, November 16
Community Service Day
OUTMemphis, 892 South Cooper Street
Prepare sack lunches and hygiene kits for those experiencing homelessness; distribution
at Morris Park.

Friday, November 17
Documentary Screening
Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson
(time & location TBA)

Saturday, November 18
Self-Care Day for all Trans/GNC people
Encouraging LGBTQ Allies to educate their networks about the disparities that Trans/GNC
face daily.

Sunday, November 19
Sunday Funday
Overton Park Greensward | 12-4 pm

Monday, November 20
Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil
OUTMemphis, 892 South Cooper Street

Also on 11/20:
Trans Best of Memphis Awards and Release Party
First Congregational Church | 6:30 pm
1000 Cooper Street