Sydney’s trans and gender diverse communities will commemorate Transgender Day of Remembrance tomorrow (Wednesday, 20 November) with a range of events.
2019 is the 20th anniversary of the first Transgender Day of Remembrance, which began in the USA on November 20 in 1999 to honour the memory of Rita Hester (pictured), a transgender woman of colour who was killed in Boston in 1998.
Her murder, and the lack of media outrage around her death, inspired a candlelight vigil in San Francisco the following year, and two decades later her killer has still not been brought to justice.
In the years that have followed, the event has spread around the world and is now commemorated in over twenty countries.
The Gender Centre will commemorate the Transgender Day of Remembrance this year with an event in Harmony Park in Surry Hills from 6.30pm.
The Gender Centre is calling on the community to come together to commemorate this anniversary and those who have suffered violence as a result of transphobia through the event, which will feature keynote speakers, entertainment and a candlelight vigil at dusk.
Light refreshments will be provided and all are welcome to attend the free event.
The Gender Centre event is held in association with the City of Sydney, the Inner City Legal Centre, ACON and the NSW Police Corporate Sponsor LGBTI.
Hear from community leaders, elders and future trans advocates and enjoy music by the TPA Community Choir while lighting a candle in memory of lives lost.
Organisers say to bring love and a blanket to sit on.
A third event is being held on the same evening in the square outside Newtown’s The Hub building by activist group Trans Action Warrang for people who want to commemorate Transgender Day of Remembrance without the involvement of police and will run from 6pm to 8pm.
Organisers have asked people to bring LED candles for a candlelight vigil at the conclusion of the event.
Event pages for all three gatherings can be found on Facebook.