The Transgender Day of Remembrance honors the memories of lives lost to anti-transgender violence. On Friday, November 20 at 7 p.m. at the Richmond Friends Meeting on 4500 Kensington Avenue, community organizations invite the public in remembering those fallen. An observance will be followed by speakers addressing issues of violence facing the transgender community.
“Many people who suffer from ‘homophobic’ discrimination and hate crimes are singled out for persecution based on their gender variance,” Day of Remembrance Steering Committee member Ted Heck said.
Invitations have been extended to the mayor, city council members, and the chief of police. As part of the education and advocacy component of the Day of Remembrance, mayoral and council proclamations concerning the Day’s significance have been sought.
When this effort was first undertaken in 1999, the rate of such deaths was roughly one per month. Since then, that statistic has almost doubled. It’s unclear whether actual violence has increased or if reporting is more accurate since the Day of Remembrance project started.
The day is held on the anniversary of the death of Rita Hester, a transgender woman whose life was cut short just weeks following the gay-bashing death of Matthew Shepard. To date, her murder remains an unsolved crime.
The Richmond Friends Meeting, in a demonstration of support for the LGBT community, opens its doors for the second consecutive year for one of that group’s most somber events.
Kenneth Decker, General Coordinator for Richmond’s observance of the Transgender Day of Remembrance, contributed to this article. GayRVA.com is a co-sponsor for the Transgender Day of Remembrance. For more information about the event, visit http://gayrva.com/dor.