will observe Transgender Day of Remembrance
(TDOR) on Monday, Nov. 20.
This event is an annual observance and honors the memory of transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.
“Our event is part of events nationwide, but with a focus on the local Springfield community and their stories,” says Sarah Alcorn, Equality Springfield programming chair. “Equality Springfield has been hosting Transgender Day of Remembrance events for the last several years.”
Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) was started in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. The vigil commemorated all the transgender people lost to violence since Rita Hester’s death and began an important tradition that has become the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance
Alcorn says TDOR is an important way to honor the memory of those transgender and gender non-confirming individuals lost due to violence.
“It calls attention to the violence that the transgender community continues to face and provides the opportunity to join together to share stories of resilience and hope,” says Alcorn.
Alcorn says the event is open to all and is a great way to show support and solidarity to a community that is often overlooked.
“Anyone who considers themselves an ally or is striving to be a better ally should join.”
Alcorn says this is a great chance to learn more about the struggles gender that non-confirming people face just trying to live authentically.
“Too often the ‘T’ is silent when discussing LGBT issues, and it's important to recognize that part of our community,” says Alcorn. “This year alone, we have seen 583 anti-transgender bills introduced across the country that would block access to healthcare, legal recognition and other basic rights.”
Alcorn says it is important to educate the community and advocate for change on a real and personal level.
“We really hope to see the community join us as we remember those we have lost and help us build brighter years to come,” says Alcorn.
Equality Springfield was established in 2010 as a non-profit dedicated to a four-fold mission:
- to promote broader awareness of LGBTQ+ issues in the greater Springfield community
- to improve the visibility of LGBTQ+ people by actively participating in the cultural life of the city
- to build coalitions of supportive individuals and organizations
- to provide opportunities for fellowship and mutual respect among LGBTQ people and their allies.
Equality Springfield believes in a welcoming and inclusive Springfield, and the organization has evolved to serve the changing needs of its of community.
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