Thursday, October 27, 2011
For Immediate Release
BOSTON TO HONOR TRANSGENDER DAY OF REMEMBRANCE
Community Speak-Out, Vigil on Sunday, Nov 20 in Boston
Each November 20, the worldwide transgender community turns its attention to its family, friends and loved ones lost to violence and prejudice. A tradition inspired by the Allston, MA vigil for slain transsexual Rita Hester in 1998, this day has become the worldwide rallying point for a community long under siege.
In Boston, folks will gather in St Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral downtown for a program of speakers, community speak out, and a candlelight vigil on the Common. This free program begins at 4 pm and concludes with a reception featuring hot drinks and food. For more details, please visit www.masstpc.org/dor.
Boston’s Transgender and LGB community extends a warm welcome to all who would like to attend this important event to memorialize our dead and underscore the serious suffering in our communities. No persons should be subjected to violence simply because of their gender identity or expression. No persons should be denied the basic rights that enable their safety and security. No one should consider taking their own life to escape harassment and bullying. Please join with us on this day to remember those who are gone, whatever the cause of their departure.
This event will benefit the Transgender Emergency Fund, which provides assistance to low-income transgender people across Massachusetts. Sponsors include the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, TransCEND Boston and AIDS Action Committee, Boston Health Care for the Homeless, The Crossing, Human Rights Campaign, Boston Alliance of GLBT Youth and more.
Twelve years ago at this time, Boston’s LGBT community recoiled in horror at the discovery of the latest victim of transphobic violence. Rita Hester, a popular figure in the local rock ‘n roll scene, who also happened to be a transsexual, had been found brutally stabbed to death in her Brighton apartment. Like so many killings of gay and transgender persons, the victim was subjected to enough brutality to kill her many times over.
A local community of queer activists, rockers, family, friends and allies – over 250 of them – came together and held a speak-out and candlelight vigil in Rita’s honor, forming a human stream of light winding its way through Rita’s old Allston stomping grounds.
One year later, a memorial vigil was held in San Francisco; the following year Boston and a few other cities joined in, and this year hundreds of observances will be held in dozens of countries.
Boston’s transgender community remembers local victims Chanelle Pickett, Debra Forte, Monique Thomas, Georgette Hart, Denise Pugliesi, Monique Rogers, Lisa Daniels, CJ Garber, and Rita Hester. There have been many more, mostly uncounted and unnoticed by all but their friends and family.
Organized by the all-volunteer Boston Transgender Day of Remembrance Organizing Committee.