Established in 1999, the Transgender Day of Remembrance began as a way to memorialize Rita Hester, a trans woman who was brutally murdered the year before. Her murder remains unsolved, as do many of the crimes committed against transgender and gender-nonconforming people.
Here in Las Vegas, a week long series of events is being billed as the first Trans Pride Week.
Every year, hundreds of transgender people around the world are brutally slain for being who they are.
Openly gay Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims posted an essay on his Facebook page about the day and what it means. Here’s just an excerpt:
If you don’t think you know any transgender people, I’m guessing you may be mistaken. Even if you don’t know that you do, take my word for it: Transgender men and women are just as normal (or abnormal) as every one of us! Like you and me, they want to be treated fairly, with respect and dignity and they deserve to be.
I hope you take a moment today to reflect on your own hardships and how your friends, family and neighbors have help to protect you and guide you in those times, and then think about how you can offer more protection and guidance yourself.
Thanks to Brian and all the folks out there trying to make a positive difference in the world, and to help bring equality for all Americans.