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November 19, 2007

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Tomorrow (November 20th) is the ninth annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.

TDoR was founded by Gwendolyn Ann Smith to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event (and the "Remembering Our Dead" web project) were organized in 1999 to honor Rita Hester, who was murdered in 1998.

Although not every person represented during the Day of Remembrance self-identified as transgendered or transsexual, each was a victim of violence based on bias against transgendered or gender-variant people. More than one person a month dies as a result of hate crimes directed at transgendered individuals, but this prejudice is largely ignored by our society.

There are a number of events going on this week in honor of TDoR.

Our myspace friends, metal band Harsh Reality (which just happens to have two awesome and sexy transgendered members) will be performing at 7pm tonight at the Bedlam Theater in Minneapolis, MN. It will be an evening of music, art, poetry and performance with many participants. 1501 S. 6th Street, West Bank, Minneapolis, MN. For info: outwardspiral.org

Find a list of other U.S. and international TDoR events: here
Find a list of Transgender and GLBT resources: here

In a somewhat related story (related by the topic of hate crimes and the fact that they suck)... We also wanted to draw your attention to the cause of Chef Josie Smith-Malave (from the second season of Top Chef):

Two months ago Chef Josie was involved in a hate crime outside a bar in Long Island, NY. More recently she has filed a complaint with the Nassau County police department for not vigorously pursuing the case and breaking their promise to treat it as the "violent hate crime it was". (So far three arrests have been made in connection with the case). Josie is accepting contributions and donations towards her legal bill for this campaign.

If you'd like to help, you can send money orders and checks (payable to "Kurland, Bonica and Associates") to:

Kurland, Bonica, & Associates, PC

304 Park Avenue South | Suite 206 | NY, NY 10010

Tel: 212 253-6911 || Fax: 212 614-2532

What better day than TDoR to take the time to let the police department - and the rest of society - know that we will not stand for bias motivated crimes or the ignorance they are based in. Today is a day to remember those we've lost, but also to acknowledge that we are who we are and no one can take that right away from us or make us afraid of being ourselves in public.

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