To honor and memorialize people in the transgender community who were killed due to acts of hatred or prejudice, GLBT Student Services and other CSU organizations are celebrating the 10th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance today.
TDR is celebrated internationally and is held in November in honor of Rita Hester, a member of the transgender community who was murdered on Nov. 28, 1998.
The day’s purpose is to raise public awareness about transgender hate crimes and seek to bring the transgender community together to celebrate its culture in spite of overwhelming public prejudice.
The Lambda Community Center located in Fort Collins, an organization that provides resources to members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities, is co-sponsoring TDR events throughout the day.
“The reason that they happen, these events.there was a lot of mismanagement with Hester’s case and mis-coverage of the murder by the media,” said Andy Stoll, the interim executive director of LCC. “(This day) raises the awareness of not just the trans community, but the public as a whole. It is a day that we can really recognize our sisters and brothers who are transgendered and that we do represent and support them.”
“By holding this event and these events, we increase exposure and hopefully raise awareness in the community,” Stoll added.
According to the LCC Web site, one in 3,000 people are transgendered. Compared to people of other sexual orientations, trangendered people are 596 times more likely to be murdered. Officials attributed this statistic to a 40 percent increase in the number of transphobic murders committed in the U.S. since 1990.
As an opportunity to learn about the history of notable transgender people and those who have died, CSU and Fort Collins community members are encouraged to attend an educational session in the Lory Student Center Sunken Lounge. The event is free and is scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Foula Dimopoulos, director of GLBT Student Services, is scheduled to host a workshop in LSC room 220 titled “Trans What? A 101 Workshop on Gender Identity and Expression.” The workshop, scheduled from noon to 1:30 p.m., is designed to answer questions people have about what it means to be transgender in our community.
“The purpose of the event is to not let lives go unremembered, lives that have been taken by violence, and hatred — that their lives were not in vain,” Dimopoulos said. “In order to remember them, means to call attention, to not only how they died, but to the thought that people are still being killed, still being harassed and still being beaten up and still losing their jobs because of discrimination.”
In culmination of the day’s events, a Candlelight Vigil is scheduled to commence on the Oak Street Plaza in Old Town at 6 p.m. After the Reading of Names, an honorarium of all the transgender people who have died throughout history, a keynote speaker will speak about relevant issues and experiences.
Assistant News Editor Madeline Novey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.