From Winona to the White House: Remembering Transgender Hate Victims | Not in Our Town

From Winona to the White House: Remembering Transgender Hate Victims

Transgender Remembrance Day

From Washington Blade: Transgender Remembrance Day was observed at the Metropolitan Community Church of D.C. on Tuesday. (Photo by Michael Key)

They held candlelit vigils and film screenings. They read the names of victims and marched in the streets. Across the country last week, groups of people came together to remember the victims of anti-transgender violence, whether that was in small gatherings like in Winona, MN or in formal discussions with staff members from the White House.

Transgender Remembrance Day is recognized around the world as a day when victims can speak out and others can stand up to the violence that continues to plague this community. The day was created in honor of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was murdered in Allston, MA, in 1998.

Allston and other Boston neighborhoods remembered Hester last week in a series of events. Read more about the effort spearheaded by local churches to continue the conversation about anti-transgender violence in Massachusetts.

In Washington, DC, members of the White House staff took the time to memorialize transgender hate crime victims and speak with leaders in the anti-hate crime movement. The Obama Administration affirmed its commitment to help stop the violence against transgendered people in a press release that day.

“As we mark Transgender Day of Remembrance and reflect upon the lives that have been lost to violence and injustice, let us all recommit ourselves to ensuring dignity, equality, and justice for all people,” wrote White House spokesman Gautam Raghavan.

Across town, transgender-rights leaders were honored in a ceremony at the Metropolitan Community Church. D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and Lisa Mallory, director of the DC Department of Employment Services, were recognized for the work they’ve done on behalf of transgendered people in the district. 

And in Winona, Minn., two universities committed themselves to honoring victims: Winona State University and Hamline University each held candlelight vigils in memory of those killed. Transgender activist JaimeAnn Meyers reflected on the events and contemplated what could be done to prevent more violence.

Meyers offered up her ideas for what transgender groups across the country can do to combat hate in their communities. “We must tell our own stories so that others will come to know our humanity,” she wrote.

Watch NIOT Video,"Staging a Response to Hate," that follows the Silicon Valley suburb of Newark, as high school students, residents and civic leaders respond to the murder of transgender teen, Gwen Araujo.

Add new comment