North Carolinians mark Transgender Remembrance Day

by Lainey Millen  Special Assignments  specialassignments@goqnotes.com
Published: November 20, 2008 in News

CHARLOTTE/RALEIGH — The 10th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance will be observed on Nov. 20 across the globe. Candle lighting vigils will be held as a way to memorialize those who were killed due to prejudice or anti-transgender hatred. It is held yearly in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on Nov. 28, 1998, in Boston, Mass., launched the Remembering Our Dead (ROD) web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Hester’s murder, like most anti-transgender murder cases, has yet to be solved.

For over the last decade, according to the ROD, more than one person per month has died due to transgender-based hate or prejudice, regardless of any other factors in their lives. ROD says that this trend shows no sign of abating.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance serves to raise public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people. It also provides a way to publicly mourn and honor the lives of community members who may be forgotten. Vigils create a way to express respect and love and reminds non-transgender people that sons, daughters, parents, friends and lovers are among those who are regularly beset by hatred and bigotry. Allies are given a chance to step forward and stand in vigil, memorializing those who have died by anti-transgender violence.

In Charlotte, the vigil will be held at the Lesbian & Gay Community Center, 820 Hamilton St., Suite B11 at 7:30 p.m. The event will begin inside followed by a candlelight vigil and reading of names outdoors (weather permitting). For more information, email Stephanie at nc_southernbelle@windstream.net.

On the same day in Raleigh, a candlelight vigil is scheduled at the Halifax Mall, 16 W. Jones St., from 6-8 p.m. The Halifax Mall runs from the N. C. Legislative Building to the Archdale Building, which is the 16-floor high-rise at the end of the State Government pedestrian mall. Janice Covington Allison from TransCarolina will speak. Due to respect and confidentiality, no filming or photography will be permitted without direct permission from individuals.

For more information, call Madeline Goss at 919-632-5993 or email madeline.goss@gmail.com.

Originally published in the Nov. 15 issue’s “North Carolina News Notes” by Lainey Millen