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  • Writer's pictureRaeann Mason

What is Trans Day of Remembrance (TDoR)

After a Massachusetts jury acquitted William Palmer for the murder of Chanelle Pickett, a 23-year old black transgender woman who was killed Nov. 20, 1995, Rita Hester, 35, was found murdered in her apartment in Allston on Nov. 28, 1998.

Rita Hester’s murder inspired San Francisco-based transgender activist Gwen Smith to create the Remembering Our Dead web project for murdered transgender and gender-nonconforming people. In 1999, Smith created the first Transgender Day of Remembrance.

The annual Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) on November 20th memorializes individuals who have died throughout the world in the previous year because of anti-transgender hatred. Each November, the global transgender community turns its attention to family, friends and loved ones lost to violence and prejudice. This day has become the worldwide rallying point for a community long under siege.

The GSA agreed to a proclamation upholding the community’s commitment to transgender rights, to recognize November as transgender awareness month, and to commemorate November 20th's TDoR. They also approved the request to use the green next to the First Church in Belmont for an installation and series of vigils for the trans lives lost.

Mark your calendar for November 20th and keep your eyes out for ways to get involved.

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