Sunday, November 11, 2012

Baltimore Transgender Day of Remembrance

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jenna Fischetti, 410-863-8001,

Press Conference with the Mayor of Baltimore, Monday November 19, 10:00a.m., City Hall
Community Service, Vigil on Tuesday, November 20, 6:30p.m., First Unitarian Church, Baltimore

Each November 20, the worldwide transgender community turns its attention to its family, friends and loved ones lost to violence and prejudice. A tradition inspired by the vigil for slain transsexual Rita Hester in 1998, this day has become the worldwide rallying point for a community long under siege.
In Baltimore, folks will gather in the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore 12 W. Franklin downtown for a service, which begins at 6:30 pm and concludes with a reading of the name of those lost and a candle light vigil.
 For more details, please visit

Maryland’s Transgender and LGB communities extends a warm welcome to all who would like to attend this important event to memorialize our dead and underscore the serious suffering in our communities. No persons should be subjected to violence simply because of their gender identity or expression. No persons should be denied the basic rights that enable their safety and security. No one should consider taking their own life to escape harassment and bullying. Please join with us on this day to remember those who are gone, whatever the cause of their departure.

Event Background:
The Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on November 28th, 1998 kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Rita Hester’s murder — like most anti-transgender murder cases — has yet to be solved.
Although not every person represented during the Day of Remembrance self-identified as transgender — that is, as a transsexual, or otherwise gender-variant — each was a victim of violence based on bias against transgender people.

Maryland’s transgender community remembers local victims Chrissey Johnson, Tacy Raino Ranta, Carla Natasha Hunt, Venus LaBeija, Stacey Brown,  April Green, Aiden Rivera Schaeff, Tyra Trent, and Tracy Johnson. There have been many more, mostly uncounted and unnoticed by all but their friends and family.

Organized by the all-volunteer Transgender Response Team’s Transgender Day of Remembrance Organizing Committee.