Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2012: Never Forget Our Dead

Dallas, Texas, and around the globe – The 14th Annual International Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is set for November 20, 2012.  Women, men, youth, and queer folk of every stripe will be gathering throughout the week, and especially on this coming Tuesday evening, to memorialize our Transgender Sisters and Brothers, gender variant people who have not yet identified, and those perceived to be Transgender who have lost their lives to unreasoning hatred since this time last year.

The first TDOR was established to remember the murder of Rita Hester who died on November 28, 1998–a case that has never been solved to this day. The heinous character of hate crimes against gender variant people is compounded by the fact that so many of these homicides remain, like Rita’s, unsolved, with no one brought to justice.

TDOR offers a chance for lament to take place in a world that customarily ignores the plight of gender variant persons, especially youth of color.  The vigil gives LGB and Straight allies a way to stand together in solidarity with Transgender people, and publicly condemn all acts of violence perpetrated against our sisters and brothers. Since the media turn a blind eye towards the killing of Transgender persons, TDOR breaks the silence in a powerful way, drawing attention to this crisis from local communities to the entire global village. Finally, those who had no voice in life are remembered, and vicariously given voice beyond the grave.

Observances will remember over 265 persons who died this year because of their gender identity and gender expression.  A current listing of the dead may be found on the International Transgender Day of Remembrance website.

This Sunday, November 18, Dallas will commemorate TDOR, according to Rev. Dr. Jo Hudson of Cathedral of Hope. As the Dallas Voice reports, The Dallas Transgender Day of Remembrance 2012, “A Candle Light Vigil and Celebration of Lives,” will be from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18 at Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs Road, Dallas. Speakers for the event are Councilwoman Delia Jasso, Carter Brown of Black Transmen Inc., Michelle Stafford of GEAR and youth representative Hanna Walters. Music will be provided by Shelly Torres-West with Paul Allen, Mosaic Song, Terry Thompkins, and the Cathedral Ringers. Doors open at 5 p.m., and refreshments will be available.  

Transgender spokeswoman Michelle Stafford expressed her feelings about the meaning of this year’s memorial to the Voice: “While on the surface this Day of Remembrance is focused on the transgender portion of our community,” she said, “at the heart it is a remembrance of where our community, the LGBT community, was in the past, how it has moved forward, and where it must press forward together to achieve. It is a time of honoring those who have been murdered simply because they were themselves. It is a time of reflecting on what each of us an individual has done to advance our protection under the legal system, our right to access adequate medical care, our freedom to obtain and hold employment without discrimination, the ability to seek housing without prejudice, freedom to dine and shop where we desire without discrimination, and the right to live our lives as the authentic people we know we are.”

November 18, 2012 Posted by | anti-LGBT hate crime murder, Cathedral of Hope, GLBTQ, LGBTQ, Remembrances, Texas, Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), transgender persons, transphobia, Unsolved LGBT Crimes | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Transgender Day of Remembrance 2012: Never Forget Our Dead


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