Today is the Transgender Day of Remembrance. On this day, UVAE mourns and commemorates the trans, two-spirit and non-binary people who have lost their lives to transphobia.

Transgender Day of Remembrance started as a vigil in 1999 to commemorate the death of Rita Hester, a transgender woman killed in 1998. Rita Hester was a vocal and highly visible member of the transgender community in Boston, Massachusetts as she worked to educate her local community on transgender issues. Hester was found stabbed twenty times in her apartment and passed away in the hospital, her case is still unresolved 23 years later. Her violent death pushed the trans community to further advocate for their voices to be heard and brought light to a horrific trend occurring all over the world. In response to this tragic death and the continued violence and alienation of the transgender community, Gwendolyn Ann Smith founded Transgender Day of Remembrance that started as a vigil and online Remember the Dead project that transformed into an international day of commemoration and support for those lost and to support the eradication of transphobia.

Trans, two-spirit and non-binary people are our co-workers, friends, family members and neighbors. On the Trans Day of Remembrance, we mourn and grieve together – and recommit to end all violence against trans people.