Boston’s Transgender Day of Remembrance, a Celebration of Community


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Boston’s Transgender Day of Remembrance, a Celebration of Community

Boston, MA – Each November, the worldwide transgender community turns its attention to its family, friends and loved ones lost to violence and prejudice. A tradition inspired by the Allston, MA vigil for slain transgender woman Rita Hester in 1998, it is even more poignant in 2015 due to increasing violence against trans women of color. The Transgender Day of Remembrance has become the worldwide rallying point for a community long under siege, as well as an engaging affirmation of transgender community.

On Sunday November 22nd at 4:00pm folks will gather in St Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral at 138 Tremont Street in downtown Boston for a program of speakers, community speak out, and a candlelight vigil on the Common. This free program will be followed by a potluck reception starting at 6:30 featuring hot cider and warm conversation.

Boston’s Transgender and LGB communities extend a warm welcome to all who would like to attend this important event to memorialize the lives of those we have lost, celebrate community and rejoice in our strength and survival.

Please join with us at this event to benefit the Transgender Emergency Fund, which provides assistance to low-income transgender people across Massachusetts, and the Transgender Clinic at the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, which helps homeless transgender individuals improve and maintain their health.

Sponsors include Eastern Bank, Fenway Health, TransCEND a program of AIDS Action, Tiffany Club of New England, Boston Pride, the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, The Network/La Red, Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, The Crossing, Boston Alliance of GLBT Youth, Human Rights Campaign, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), and more. Additional sponsorships are welcome.

More info and other local TDOR events can be found at

Event Background:

Fourteen years ago at this time, Boston’s LGBT community recoiled in horror at the discovery of the latest victim of transphobic violence. Rita Hester, a popular figure in the local rock ‘n roll scene, who also happened to be a transsexual, had been found brutally stabbed to death in her Brighton apartment. A local community of queer activists, rockers, family, friends and allies – over 250 of them – came together and held a speak-out and candlelight vigil in Rita’s honor, forming a human stream of light winding its way through Rita’s old Allston stomping grounds. One year later, a memorial vigil was held in San Francisco; the following year Boston and a few other cities joined in, and this year hundreds of observances will be held in dozens of countries. Boston’s transgender communities remember local victims Chanelle Pickett, Debra Forte, Monique Thomas, Georgette Hart, Denise Pugliesi, Monique Rogers, Lisa Daniels, CJ Garber, and Rita Hester. There have been many more, mostly uncounted and unnoticed by all but their friends and family. Organized by the all- volunteer Boston Transgender Day of Remembrance Organizing Committee.
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