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.
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In late 1998, Boston’s LGBT community recoiled in horror at the discovery of the latest victim of transphobic violence. Rita Hester, a trans woman and popular figure in the local rock ‘n’ roll scene, was found stabbed to death in her Brighton apartment. A local community of queer activists, rockers, family, friends, and allies — over 250 individuals — 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 several other cities joined in, and this year hundreds of observances will be held in dozens of countries.
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.