updated 10-03-2015

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2015

No one should be subjected to violence simply because of their gender identity or expression. No one 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 our departed friends, loved ones, and community members.

1998 Vigil for Rita Hester

1998 Vigil for Rita Hester

The annual Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) memorializes individuals who have died throughout the world in the previous year because of anti-transgender hatred. Each November, the worldwide transgender community turns its attention to 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.

Boston Transgender Day of Remembrance:

Sunday November 22
4-7 pm
St. Paul’s Cathedral in Boston

Become a Sponsor

We need sponsors.  Help build our community and help our most vulnerable.   We will make this moving and important event happen for a few hundred dollars.  Everything else goes to the Transgender Emergency Fund and the Transgender Clinic at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program.  As a sponsor, you help our community’s neediest, whether it’s a bus ticket to get someone to shelter or the cost of food or a doctor’s visit.  
We accept in-kind contributions, click here to learn more.

Event History:

In late 1998, 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 — 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.

In November 1999, 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.

More on Rita Hester: Rita’s Story (TransGriot) – Remembering Rita Hester (Edge Boston/Ethan Jacobs)

More on the Allston vigil and media coverage: Rita Hester’s Murder and the Language of Respect (Sojourner/Nancy Nangeroni)

Boston’s transgender community remembers local victims Chanelle Pickett, Debra Forte, Monique Thomas, Georgette Hart, Denise Pugliesi, Monique Rogers, Lisa Daniels, Rita Hester, and too many more, mostly uncounted and unnoticed by all but their friends and family.