Transgender Day of Remembrance

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 Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) was started in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. 

 

In the evening of November 28, 1998, police found the African-American transgender woman in her apartment, stabbed in the chest 20 times. She died on her way to the hospital from cardiac, this began a important tradition that has become the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.

 

“Rita was renowned and infamous,” said Reverend Irene Monroe, a speaker from 1998 vigil for Hester, told The Daily Beast. “ Everyone knew her especially in the LGBTQ+ African – American  communities”.

 

The procession began at the Model Café in Allston and ended outside of Hester’s apartment building, where Kathleen and her children kneeled together and recited the Lord’s Prayer.There were tears, anger and fear since the rash of transgender killings would increase.

 

“ I would have gladly died for you, Rita. I would have taken the stabs and told you to run. I loved you” said  Hester’s mother, Kathleen.

 

The Boston trans community and the police captain who led the investigation. Twenty years after Pickett’s murder, California is still the only state to have categorically banned the use of the “trans panic” defense. “[The jurors] let their homophobia, their transphobia, get the better of them,” Nangeroni told the Phoenix.