Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Transgender Day of Remembrance
Written by Stacey Sampson

Boston, Massachusetts. November 28, 1998.  Rita Hester, an active, engaging, and widely known member of her local transgender community, is stabbed 20 times in her apartment. Moments after arriving at a hospital, owing to the 911 call placed by her neighbor, Rita dies from cardiac arrest. Nearly two decades since this horrendous murder, the case still remains unsolved.

One year following Rita’s death, transgender advocate and writer Gwendolyn Ann Smith organized a vigil dedicated to Rita and all other victims of transgender crimes. This also marked the inaugural Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day when individuals and organizations remember and honor the lives lost in acts of anti-transgender violence, in addition to highlighting much-needed attention upon the struggles members of this community face on a daily basis.

Year after year, every November 20th, the celebration of this day provides for the exceedingly vital need to uncover the discrimination, harassment, and victimization of transgender people. By honoring this day and its cadre of victims, these organizations are able to educate the at-large public on the importance of education, support and understanding of our transgender society.

This year, Transgender Awareness Week begins November 14th and ends with the Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20th. The importance of Transgender Awareness Week has never been so meaningful. Though great strides have been made by the LGBTQ community to educate the public on issues of equal rights and unnecessary violence, too many instances of hate crimes still take place on a daily basis. Only a percentage of these gender-biased crimes are even reported, and even less of a percentage of them are actively pursue and solved. According to GLAAD:

Findings from the ‘Injustice at Every Turn’ report conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and the National LGBTQ Task Force showed alarming rates of violence and harassment experienced by the more than 6,000 transgender respondents across a variety of contexts, including educational settings, at work, in interactions with police and with family members, at homeless shelters, accessing public accommodations, and in jails and prisons. As murders of transgender people often go unreported, and the identity of transgender murder victims is often misreported, there is no way to know accurate numbers.

The weight of bringing these statistics to light and catalyzing a direly needed, subsequent activism has never been heavier; and the consequences for failing to do so have never been greater. Based upon findings in 2011 from the Williams Institute, 700,000 Americans identified as transgender – which equals 0.3% of American adults. In 2016, it is estimated that that number has doubled to 1.4 million. And this is only a number based upon people reporting. There could be millions more transgender people that are unwilling to tell anyone they identify as transgender, for fear of backlash from friends and family, potential violence, and even death.

Learn about Transgender Awareness Week. Learn about transgender issues. Ask questions without being dismissive. An attempt to truly understand this vital community, and to spread that understanding from one person to another, has the possibility to extinguish potential discrimination. Get engaged in your local community, which can begin with participation in Spokane/Coeur d’Alene’s Transgender Day of Remembrance activities. This year, there are two TDOR events that you can take part in:

Coeur d’Alene

Friday, November 18th, 2016, 6-7:30pm

The Human Rights Education Institute

414 West Fort Grounds Drive

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83814



Saturday, November 19th, 2016, 6-8pm

The Westminster United Church of Christ

411 South Washington Street

Spokane, WA 99204


For more information on TDOR events, visit our webpage:


For information regarding Transgender Awareness Week, visit the GLAAD webpage:

Leave a Reply


Chamber News
OPEN NOW UNTIL OCTOBER 28 AT 12PM AFTER you have read the following requirements and restrictions, ...
Chamber News
I understand that there are still a lot (A LOT, a lot) of locations, businesses, and people, that ...
Chamber News
We are so happy to bring you a fresh new way to connect with your local LGBTQ community. Find ...
Local News
A Spokane-designed app to help transgender people with everything from safely navigating day-to-day ...
Local News
SPOKANE, Wash. — Washington Governor Jay Inslee appointed 15 members to the state's new LGBTQ ...
National News
By Lindsay Whitehurst and David CraryAssociated Press SALT LAKE CITY – At the urging of conservative ...

Upcoming Events

Become a Member!

Our members receive special discounts on INBA and other community events, as well as member-to-member discounts on products and services.

There are several membership options, choose the one that best suits your business, or join as an individual! 

Chamber Partners

Recent Posts

Follow Us

You Are Not Alone

Reach out if you are in crisis:

Trevor Project – Crisis support for LGBTQ+ youth:

Trans Lifeline – by trans people, for trans people:

24/7 Crisis Text line:

24/7 Sexual Assault Crisis Line:

First call for help:

Odyssey Youth Movement:

Sign up for our Newsletter

The INBA gathers local, national, and international news articles relevant to business and community and sends out a newsletter regularly. We would love to add you to our list of newsletter recipients! 

Sign up for our Newsletter

The INBA gathers local, national, and international news articles relevant to business and community and sends out a newsletter regularly. We would love to add you to our list of newsletter recipients!