Rita Hester, a Black transgender woman, was murdered in Allston, Massachusetts on November 28, 1998. In response to her murder, an outpouring of grief and anger led to a candlelight vigil. Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) was started in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honour the memory of Rita Hester. The vigil commemorated all the transgender people lost to violence since Rita Hester’s death, and began an important tradition that has become the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.

“Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people — sometimes in the most brutal ways possible — it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice.” – Transgender Day of Remembrance founder Gwendolyn Ann Smith

If you’re in Vancouver, the Transgender Day of Remembrance will be commemorated during an event hosted by Vancouver Trans Day of Remembrance and Coalition Against Trans Antagonism on Friday, November 20th at 6 pm at Jim Deva Plaza. Facebook event and to live-stream.

Support our local trans community

UNYA’s Two Spirit collective – an organization that provides programs and services to Indigenous youth who identify as LGBTQ2S
Flamingo Market – an online artisan market with creations by and entrepreneurs who are LGBTQ2S
BoundAries Leather – a Vancouver-based queer & trans owned leather shop
Van Vogue Jam – a Vancouver-based organization that provides vogue classes

Recommended trans awareness reading
  1. ZOM-FAM by Kama La Mackerel
  2. it was never going to be okay by jaye simpson
  3. Little Blue Encyclopedia (for Vivian) by Hazel Jane Plante
  4. Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl’s Confabulous Memoir by Kai Cheng Thom
  5. The Subtweet by Vivek Shraya
  6. Disintegrate/Dissociate by Arielle Twist
  7. Beyond the Gender Binary by Alok Vaid-Menon
  8. Trans-Galactic Bike Ride edited by Lydia Rogue
  9. Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics by Trace Peterson and TC Tolbert
  10. Little Fish by Casey Plett
  11. Trans Power by Juno Roche

*compiled by Massy Books

Resources for trans people who are experiencing abuse

*If you are experiencing abuse, we can help. Call 604-687-1867 or email intake@bwss.org

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