Transgender Day of Remembrance 2009
NOGLSTP at IU held its initial callout on October 27th. Three weeks later, we were featured in the headline story with a full color photo on the front page of the Indiana Daily Student (IDS). We had a large two-day Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) display in Dunn Meadow seen by thousands; 50 people attended ‘Screaming Queens’; 80 people listened to our five speakers which included IU Provost Karen Hanson and the City of Bloomington’s Safe and Civil City Director, Beverly Calender-Anderson; and over 30 people marched in a funeral procession and stood in the pouring rain at our make-shift cemetery to read the names of the last year’s 119 transgender-based murder victims.
“Transgender Day of Remembrance” services in Bloomington, Indiana, are being hosted by the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals (NOGLSTP) at Indiana University and IU’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Student Support Services (GLBTSSS). This is the eleventh annual Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR). This day (November 17) is being set aside to memorialize those people who have died due to violence and hate crimes inflicted upon them by others who took exception to their gender expression. The students and organizers would like to draw the attention of IU administrators and local officials to the social environment that transgender people face every day—an environment of oppression similar to that faced by African-Americans in the Jim Crow era— including lynching.
All day November 16 and 17 (Monday and Tuesday) we plan to have a graveyard of the 119 transgender-based murder victims’ names from the past year in the grass on the east side of Dunn Meadow near the IMU steps and signs around Dunn Meadow listing the names of the 245 known dead from the past ten years with the city, date and cause of death for each.
The main event is scheduled to begin in the Fine Arts Auditorium (FA 015) at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, November 17, where five leaders will speak for about 45 minutes total. The scheduled speakers are:
1. Dr. Aren Aizura, Visiting Lecturer of Gender Studies, Indiana University
2. Beverly Calender-Anderson, Safe and Civil City Director, City of Bloomington
3. Chris Kase, President, National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals at Indiana University (http://www.noglstp.net/iu/chris-kase-bio)
4. Dr. Karen Hanson, Provost and Executive Vice President, Indiana University Bloomington (http://www.iub.edu/provost/bio.shtml)
5. Kay Johnson, National Board Member, National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals (http://www.noglstp.net/iu/kay-johnson-bio)
After the speakers on Tuesday, we plan to have a funeral procession with pall bearers and a casket leave the Fine Arts Building to arrive at the tombstone plots around 7:00 pm on November 17 where we will conclude by reading each of the 119 names. Everyone is welcome at all of our TDOR events.
The day before, on Monday, November 16, we plan to show a movie, Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria, in the Fine Arts auditorium (FA 015) at 7:00 pm. This award winning PBS documentary (about a 1966 riot in San Francisco where a group of transgender women fought back for the first time in history against everyday police harassment) was co-produced and narrated by Dr. Susan Stryker, Associate Professor in Gender Studies at Indiana University.
We hope you attend these events and that you encourage your friends and colleagues to attend as well. It is important to remember that this day is not only a day for action, but also a day for education and for people who do not identify as transgender to become an ally and stand up for the rights of individuals who have been the victim of harassment, bullying and name calling because of their gender identity and/or gender expression. Your visible support helps send a message denouncing violence, hate-crimes and murder of transgenders. We expect this event to be of great value in raising the awareness of University officials and community members to help improve the climate for transgenders (and all queer persons) in Bloomington.
You can learn more about Transgender Day of Remembrance by visiting http://www.transgenderdor.org/ or by reading more below.
To learn more the movie visit http://www.screamingqueensmovie.com/index.php
The Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on November 28th, 1998 kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Rita Hester’s murder — like most anti-transgender murder cases — has yet to be solved.
Although not every person represented during the Day of Remembrance self-identified as transgender — that is, as a transsexual, crossdresser, or otherwise gender-variant — each was a victim of violence based on bias against transgender people.
We live in times more sensitive than ever to hatred based violence, especially since the events of September 11th. Yet even now, the deaths of those based on anti-transgender hatred or prejudice are largely ignored. Over the last decade, more than one person per month has died due to transgender-based hate or prejudice, regardless of any other factors in their lives. This trend shows no sign of abating.
The Transgender Day of Remembrance serves several purposes. It raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people, an action that current media doesn’t perform. Day of Remembrance publicly mourns and honors the lives of our brothers and sisters who might otherwise be forgotten. Through the vigil, we express love and respect for our people in the face of national indifference and hatred. Day of Remembrance reminds non-transgender people that we are their sons, daughters, parents, friends and lovers. Day of Remembrance gives our allies a chance to step forward with us and stand in vigil, memorializing those of us who’ve died by anti-transgender violence.
Note: This page was taken from http://www.rememberingourdead.org/day/what.html
Transgender Day of Remembrance supporting organizations include:
American Indian Student Association
B OUT 2 News, Views, & More
Lutheran Campus Ministry at IU (ELCA)
Thank you to Nathan Butler Funeral Home for supplying the Hearse and casket for the service.