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The Transgender Day of Remembrance

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Article Written By Hannah Vandegrift

Photo Courtesy of Google

The Transgender Day of Remembrance (DOR) started in memory of Rita Hester, a transwoman who was murdered on Nov. 28, 1998. A year after, there was a “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a candlelit vigil to honor her memory. The Transgender Day of Remembrance was born, and now falls on Nov. 20 each year. According to the founder, Gwendolyn Ann Smith, the 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.”

Last Sunday, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and LAMBDA alliance helped sponsor a DOR in Pickle lounge. At 7 pm., the president, vice president, and treasurer of LAMBDA opened with a brief description of what the DOR is and how it formed. They then played the film, Boy Meets Girl, which followed with a discussion and a candlelit vigil. Boy Meets Girl is an independent film from 2014 about a 21-year-old transgender girl living in Kentucky who dreams of going to fashion school in New York. The actress, Michelle Hendley, is an actual transwoman, unlike the 2015 film The Danish Girl, which many people criticize for casting a cisgender, a person whose gender corresponds with his or her biological sex, male actor in the role of a transwoman.

LAMBDA hopes to open more opportunities for discussion on transgender rights and host more events that open diversity and acceptance for all genders and sexualities.