Transgender Detroit Executive Director Michelle Fox-Phillips announced plans for Friday, Nov. 16 activities for the annual Day of Remembrance candlelight vigil.
This event is being held at 7 p.m. at Metropolitan Church of Detroit (MCCD), located at 2441 Pinecrest.
This year’s speakers will be Dr. Julie Nemecek and Michelle Brown. The MCCD chorus will also be performing musical selections.
“This is an important event to show spport for the transgender community,” said Fox-Phillips.
The Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on Nov. 28, 1998 kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Rita Hester’s murder, like most anti-transgender murder cases, has yet to be solved.
Although not every person represented during the Day of Remembrance self-identified as transgendered, that is, as a transsexual, crossdresser, or otherwise gender-variant, each was a victim of violence based on bias against transgendered people.
Over the last decade, more than one person per month has died due to transgender-based hate or prejudice, regardless of any other factors in their lives. This trend shows no sign of abating.
The Transgender Day of Remembrance serves several purposes: It raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgendered people, mourns and honors the lives of our brothers and sisters who might otherwise be forgotten, and gives our allies a chance to step forward with us and stand in vigil, memorializing those of us who’ve died by anti-transgender violence.