by Rev. Andrew Clive Millard
What: Special Service for Transgender Day of Remembrance
When: 4:30pm on Sunday, November 17th 2013, until about 5:30pm
Where: UUFP Sanctuary before moving outside for candlelight vigil
Transgender Day of Remembrance is an international call to memorialize those who have been killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. It was first held to honor Rita Hester, whose murder in November 1998 inspired a San Francisco candlelight vigil the following year. Rita Hester’s murder — like most anti- transgender murder cases — has yet to be solved.
Transgender Day of Remembrance serves several purposes. It raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people, an action that the mainstream media doesn’t perform. It publicly mourns and honors the lives of those whose deaths would otherwise be ignored. It allows us to express love and respect for all people in the face of national indifference and even hatred. It reminds non-transgender people that this is about their sons and their daughters, their parents and their friends. Transgender Day of Remembrance gives a chance to those of us who consider ourselves allies and advocates to step forward and stand in solidarity against violence in all its forms.
The Fellowship will observe Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 17th as a time to read the names of those who died and to light candles in memory of the lives lost. After words and music in the Sanctuary, we’ll move outside to stand in silent witness for those who were killed for being who they are. As the darkness of the evening gathers, we shall lift our light for all who would see it, to let them know that we stand together, that we shall not forget, and that we shall continue standing together until anti-transgender violence and all hate-based violence is merely a sad memory.