Together we will honor the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence in 2023. We will have speakers, a grief meditation and a moment of silence during the vigil. There will be a reception after with refreshments.
*Content warning: mentions of violence, murder, death
In 1999 a candlelight vigil was held in San Francisco’s Castro District and Boston to honor Rita Hester, a beautiful Black trans woman who was brutally murdered in her home on November 28th, 1998. Her family and friends loved her deeply and like many transgender murder cases — hers has yet to be solved. The first Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigils (TDOR) were organized by activists Gwendolyn Ann Smith and Penni Ashe Matz. Smith wrote “Remembering Rita Hester and the untold thousands of other murdered trans people is a day-to-day battle with overwhelming grief, as we who live try to hang on to every name we can.” For 23 years, communities across the globe have gathered on November 20th to raise public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people, as well as to publicly mourn and honor the lives of our trans and non-binary community members.
Transphobic violence is inherently connected to race, gender, class, disability and other aspects of identity. This is reflected in the disproportionate instances of violence against trans women of color, and Black transgender women in particular. Although not every person represented during Transgender Day of Remembrance self-identified as transgender, each was a victim of violence based on bias against transgender people.
This year The Diversity Center of Santa Cruz County will be partnering with the Resource Center for Nonviolence to hold a Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil. We invite you to join us to remember and honor transgender people who have been murdered and embrace the impact of these lives lost. We seek to acknowledge not just the violence and discrimination trans and non-binary people experience, but we also want to create a space to tap into our collective grief and the medicine that can be found when in community. Transgender people are our children, siblings, parents, friends, lovers, neighbors, teachers, artists, activists, students, dreamers, and more.
Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil
🕯 On Monday November 20, 2023
🕯 Vigil 6:30-8:30
🕯 Reception 8:30-9:00
🕯 At The Resource Center for Nonviolence
612 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz, Ca, 95060
Our Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil will begin with a memorial service including speakers, a reading of the names of the trans and non-binary people who have been murdered this year, a grief meditation, and interactive altar. We will also have a reception with refreshments after the vigil. Together we will honor the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence this year. They may be dead but they will not be forgotten.
Please RSVP on Eventbrite so we can plan accordingly