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Transgender Day of Remembrance is almost here! But what exactly is it about?
International Transgender Day of Remembrance is observed anually on November 20. On this day, our community remembers transgender people who have been the victims of hate motivated murder during the past year. This day also aims to draw attention to hate crimes targeting transgender people, as well as to give these events visibility.
Transgender Day of Remembrance has been held in several countries worldwide since its inception in 1999. It was declared in honor and memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who fell victim to transphobic murder. On November 28, 1998 she was murdered in her own apartment at 34 years old, where her attacker stabbed her in the chest twenty times. Her death gave rise to the "Remembering Our Dead" web project, and the first memorial, a candlelight vigil was held in her memory in San Francisco.
Most transphobia motivated murders remain forever invisible and unsolved. In most cases, facts such as the murder motive being hatred and the victim's transgender identity remain veiled. In worst situation the victim is not even recognized as a transgender person.
These hate crimes are, or can be motivated by transphobia, homphobia, racism and misogyny all at once. Between 2008 and 2017 a total of 2609 murders were documented, where there is certainty that the murder motive was transphobia, and that the victim was transgender.* Transgender women of ethnic minorities, sex workers, refugees and immigrants can be found in significant numbers among the victims.