Today, Friday November 20, 2009 is the 11th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.
The event was founded in 1998 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith to honor Rita Hester, whose murder in 1998 began the "Remembering Our Dead" web project and a San Francisco, CA candlelight vigil in 1999. Rita Hester’s murder — like most anti-transgender murder cases — has yet to be solved.
This year, the day will be honored in 120 cities in 17 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America.
Sadly, there are more than 160 transgender people who were victims of homicide this year. Most reported cases have been from Latin America and North America, with the majority from Brazil (41), Venezuela (22), Honduras (16), and the USA (13). In total, 124 transgender people were murdered in 15 Latin America countries in the last year. The Latin American countries account for 75% of the world wide reported murders of transgender people.
Transgender Day of Remembrance raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people, information that is often not included in current media. Day of Remembrance publicly mourns and honors the lives of those who might otherwise be forgotten. It also gives allies a chance to step forward with the LGBTQ community and stand in vigil, memorializing those who have died by anti-transgender violence in the face of indifference and hatred.
Please take a few moments today to remember all of the transgender people who have been victims of homicide due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice.
November 18th 2009 Press Release from Transgender Europe www.tgeu.org