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November 20th is Transgender Day of Remembrance.

From the GLAAD website:

What is Transgender Day of Remembrance?

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.

“Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people — sometimes in the most brutal ways possible — it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice.”

– Transgender Day of Remembrance founder Gwendolyn Ann Smith


Here in Hawaii, it is important for us to acknowledge and Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Some may say, that we don't face the same struggles here as they do in other parts of the world. But the truth is that even with our vibrant and active LGBTQIA+ community, our Transgender population still faces bigotry and prejudice.

The debate going on in many states on the continent that questions our trans ohana's ability to live as their authentic selves, is creeping into our way of life here in Hawaii.

When minors in school cannot use their chosen name and pronouns, when our State and County buildings do not all have restrooms available that match a person's gender identity, when people are still denied jobs and disrespected, when elected officials introduce bills to limit our freedoms, when healthcare is denied to us and body autonomy is not a given etc, there is still work to be done.

But for today, Transgender Day of Remembrance, we will remember those who have been murdered for simply living their truths. We will mourn their losses and will acknowledge how much further there is to go in the struggle for equal rights.

And then... we will rise up and use the strength of those who came before us to continue our relentless pursuit for the freedom to simply be; for ourselves and for generations to follow.

Attached are two events happening in Hawaii for Transgender Day of Remembrance.

If you need someone to talk to, please reach out to us at Equality HI, or attend one of the events in person in Hawaii, or on zoom across the globe.

Transphobia will not be tolerated. Violence against our Mahu Ohana will not be tolerated.

We are here. We are never alone. We stand together.

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