Organized by First Unitarian Church of Baltimore, Interweave and the Transgender Response Team, the 14th annual International Transgender Day of Remembrance will be observed on Nov. 20 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Sanctuary of the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore, 12 W. Franklin St.
The event includes an Interfaith Memorial Service; the Reading of the Names, and a candle lighting ceremony. Transgender people of faith and their allies provide focus and leadership for this event.
The Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on Nov. 28, 1998 kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Rita Hester’s murder — like many anti-transgender murder cases — has yet to be solved.
Although not every person represented during the Day of Remembrance self-identifies as transgender — that is, as a transsexual, crossdresser, or otherwise gender-variant — each was a victim of violence based on bias against transgender people.
The Transgender Day of Remembrance raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people. It publicly mourns and honors the lives of those who might otherwise be forgotten. The vigil is intended to express love and respect for transgender people in the face of national indifference and hatred.
On Nov. 14, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will hold a news conference concerning Transgender Day of Remembrance in Baltimore. It will take place at 10 a.m. at the Rotunda in Baltimore City Hall, 100 N. Holliday St. Besides the mayor, speakers will include Jenna Fischetti of TransMaryland. Additional speakers are being sought.