Press

November 20 is Transgender Day of Remembrance

Date: 
November 20, 2003

MEDIA CONTACT:
Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications
media@theTaskForce.org
646.358.1465

November 20 marks the 5th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. Please see below for information on the day's significance and to find out about events happening in your area.

The Task Force has many transgender resources available, including the report, Transgender Equality: A Handbook for Activists and Policymakers by Paisley Currah, Shannon Minter and Jamison Green. The report is available in the Task Force online publications library.

Also go to the Task Force transgender issues section of the Web site for information on the Task Force Transgender Civil Rights Project, and for editorials and informational charts of importance to the transgender and allied communities.

Information on Transgender Day of Remembrance from our friends at Gender.org (http://www.gender.org/remember/day/what.html):

The Transgender Day of Remembrance 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 November 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.

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

We live in times more sensitive than ever to hatred based violence, especially since the events of September 11th. Yet even now, the deaths of those based on anti-transgender hatred or prejudice are largely ignored. Over the last decade, more than one person per month has died due to transgender-based hate or prejudice, regardless of any other factors in their lives. This trend shows no sign of abating.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance serves several purposes. It raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgendered people, an action that current media doesn't perform. Day of Remembrance publicly mourns and honors the lives of our brothers and sisters who might otherwise be forgotten. Through the vigil, we express love and respect for our people in the face of national indifference and hatred. Day of Remembrance reminds non-transgendered people that we are their sons, daughters, parents, friends and lovers. Day of Remembrance gives our allies a chance to step forward with us and stand in vigil, memorializing those of us who've died by anti-transgender violence.

For more information about Transgender Day of Remembrance, please log on to the gender.org Web site.

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.