On the occasion of Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), Charleston Black Pride, Charleston Area Transgender Support, We Are Family, and the Alliance For Full Acceptance have announced a memorial vigil that will be held on Friday, November 20th, 2020, at 5:30 pm. The socially-distanced vigil will be held outside the Equality Hub (1801 Reynolds Avenue, North Charleston, SC) and streamed on Facebook (facebook.com/affa.charleston)
TDOR is an annual observance on November 20th that honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. 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 (GLAAD).
At least 34 transgender or gender non-conforming people have been fatally shot or killed by other violent means in 2020, the majority of which were Black and Latinx transgender women (Human Rights Campaign).
“We remember those we lost because all to often they have been rejected and forgotten by society at large," Charleston Area Transgender Support leader Lee Anne Leland said. "We say their names to keep their memory alive. If we don’t, who will?”
“We are hosting the vigil to create change, to honor those that we have lost to horrific, targeted violence, and to educate the public about staggering rates of violence that trans people face on a daily basis," Charleston Black Pride Founder and President Regina Duggins said. "It's also an excellent way to get politicians to listen to the transgender community while furthering the education of our allies on transgender issues and laws. Until a Hate Crime Law is passed in South Carolina, our work is not finished.”