Boston to honor Transgender Day of Remembrance

Vigil and Speak-Out, preceded by Town Hall Meeting, on Sunday, Nov 18

On Sunday November 18, Boston's transgender community, with
family, friends and allies, will gather at the Arlington Street Church to remember and honor transgender victims of violence. The Remembrance observance will be preceded by an afternoon Town Hall Meeting conducted by the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC).The Transgender Day of Remembrance observance starts in the Arlington Street Church sanctuary at 7PM. The program includes invited speakers followed by a community speak-out, then a candlelight vigil to Copley Square, returning to the church for a warm-up reception.

Included this year will be a presentation about the honoring of Debra Forte, a Haverhill transgender women murdered in 1995. A stone bearing her name was placed this past fall in Boston's Garden of Peace, a memorial commemorating victims of homicide.

Starting at 3PM, all are welcome to MTPC's Town Hall Meeting, for an opportunity to hear from and speak with some of our state's leading transgender activists LGB allies. Each year MTPC holds this meeting to inform the community about the work of MTPC and the state of
transgender rights in Massachusetts and at the Federal level. This year's keynote speaker is Representative Carl Sciortino, who will be speaking about the pending Massachusetts legislation HB 1722, "An Act Relative to Gender-Based Discrimination and Hate Crimes".

MTPC will also be providing training and information on how to reach out to and educate legislators about HB 1722 and the issues transgender people face in Massachusetts. There will be presentations about MTPC's activities, followed by time for feedback and commentary. MTPC
particularly encourages those who want to learn more about
Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition and/or HB 1722 to attend the Town Hall Meeting.

Boston's transgender and LGB community extends a warm welcome to all who would like to attend this important event to memorialize our dead and underscore the seriousness of the suffering of 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. Please join with us on this day to remember our dead, whatever the cause of their departure.

Co-sponsors of Boston's Transgender Day of Remembrance include TransCend of Cambridge Cares About AIDS, Keshet, BAGLY, GLSEN Boston, and MTPC.

For the latest list of sponsors and details about the day's events, please visit

Event Background:
Eight years ago at this time, Boston's LGBT community recoiled in horror at the discovery of the latest victim of transphobic violence. Rita Hester, a popular figure in the local rock `n roll scene, who also happened to be a transsexual, had been found brutally stabbed to death in her Brighton apartment. Like so many killings of gay and
transgender persons, the victim was subjected to enough brutality to kill her many times over.

A local community of queer activists, rockers, family, friends and allies – over 250 of them – came together and held a speak-out and candlelight vigil in Rita's honor, forming a human stream of light winding its way through Rita's old Brighton stomping grounds. One
year later, a memorial vigil was held in San Francisco; the following year Boston and a few other cities joined in, and this year hundreds of observances will be held in dozens of countries.

Boston's transgender community remembers Chanelle Pickett, Debra Forte, Monique Thomas, and Rita Hester, all of whom were more recent local transgender victims of unusually violent and hateful murders. Before these, there were many more, mostly uncounted and unnoticed by all but their friends and family.

These events are free, open to everyone, and there will be limited video/photo policy will be in place. For more information visit If your organization would like to become a sponsor of TDOR or you would like to volunteer helping to organize the event contact Nancy at If your organization would
like to sponsor the Town Hall meeting or you are member of the press contact Gunner