Transgender Day of Remembrance events set

Posted on 12 Oct 2009 at 8:05pm
By David Taffet | Staff Writer taffet@dallasvoice.com

Dallas event set for SMU campus, FW memorial will be at TCU; panel discussion set at UNT in Denton

Nov. 20 marks the 11th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance honoring victims of anti-trans violence.

The first vigil was conducted in San Francisco on the anniversary of the death of Rita Hester, a transgender woman murdered on Nov. 28, 1998. Her murder was never solved.

Rafael McDonnell, strategic communications and programs manager for Resource Center Dallas, said 116 transgender men and women have been killed this year, adding that the murder of Tyli’a Mack in Washington, D.C., is one of the most prominent.

"It happened in broad daylight as she was walking down the street and she was jumped and stabbed to death," McDonnell said. A second victim was stabbed and required hospitalization in that attack.

Marla Compton of Resource Center Dallas said that none of the murders tracked took place in Dallas and no other hate crimes targeting the transgender community were reported here.

However, she said that the transgender community constantly faces the loss of friends and family. They deal with unemployment and underemployment. Insurance companies do not know how to adequately deal with their health issues. Doctors and hospitals often deny them care.

"These are some of the things we deal with daily," Compton said.

A vigil to mourn victims of violence against the transgender community and to support equal rights will be held on the Southern Methodist University campus that day at 7 p.m.

The event takes place in the campus quadrangle under the flagpole.

Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez and Resource Center Dallas Executive Director Mike McKay and Compton will speak. MosaicSong will perform.

The Dallas event is co-sponsored by Texas Instruments, Resource Center Dallas, Gender Education Advocacy and Resources (GEAR), Out & Equal, The LGBTA Group of the First Unitarian Church of Dallas, Equality March Texas, the Human Rights Campaign and the SMU Women’s Center for Gender and Pride Initiatives.

Tarrant County Transgender Remembrance takes place at Texas Christian University at 7:30 p.m. at Carr Chapel, 2855 S. University Drive, Fort Worth.

They will hold a service co-sponsored by TCU’s Brite Divinity School, Agape MCC, Trinity MCC, Sexuality Education Center and the Dallas Transgender Advocates and Allies (DTAA).

In Denton, there will be a small panel discussion on transgender issues held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18, in the Eagle Student Services Center, room 225.

UNT’s involvement in Transgender Day of Remembrance began several years ago with a 2005 Sundance Channel series called "Transgeneration" that featured four transgender college students, including one from UNT. 

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 13, 2009.

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