On Wednesday Nov. 20, 2013, communities around the globe will pause for a moment of silence in memory of transgender people whose lives were cut short by anti-transgender violence.
According to TransgenderDOR.org, the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on Nov. 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.
According to Wikipedia, The Transgender Day of Remembrance was founded in 1998 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a trans woman who is a graphic designer, columnist, and activist,[ to memorialize the murder of Rita Hester in Allston, Massachusetts. Since its inception, TDoR has been held annually on Nov. 20 and has slowly evolved from the web-based project started by Smith into an international day of action.
"The Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost." Said TDOR founder Gwendolyn Ann Smith. "With so many seeking to erase transgender people -- sometimes in the most brutal ways possible -- it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice."
Typically, a TDoR memorial includes a reading of the names of those who lost their lives during the previous year, and may include other actions, such as candlelight vigils, art shows, food drives, film screenings, marches, among others.
To view a list of TDoR events being held around the globe today, visit TransgenderDOR.org.