News (USA)

14th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance honors those lost to anti-transgender hatred

Today is the 14th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, a solemn tribute to those who have lost their lives to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice, and a day to raise awareness of the constant threat of brutality faced by the transgender community.

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. Although not every person represented during the Day of Remembrance self-identified as transgender — that is, as a transsexual, cross-dresser, or otherwise gender-variant — each was a victim of violence based on bias against transgender people.

Statistics on anti-transgender violence are startling. Twelve percent of reported hate crimes were against transgender people according to a 2008 report from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Program (NCAVP).

NCAVP also found that, in 2011, 40 percent of murders against the LGBT community were against transgender women, particularly women of color. Seventy-eight percent of transgender children in grades K-12 reported being harassed in school, 35 percent physically assaulted, and 12 percent sexually assaulted, according to a 2011 report from the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

“Today we commemorate our transgender brothers and sisters we’ve lost, and stand in solidarity against hate-based violence,” said HRC President Chad Griffin.

“Transgender people face violence at unfathomable rates and we must keep all those affected by these crimes in our memory so that we can see an end to this brutality.”

Please follow this link for a list of memorial services taking place all over the world.

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