Human Rights Campaign Honors Transgender Day of Remembrance 2011

by HRC Staff

Commemoration comes as new polling shows strong majorities of Americans favor legal protections for Transgender people

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, will join in the commemoration of Transgender Day of Remembrance on Sunday, November 20, 2011. The 13th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance is a solemn tribute to those who have lost their lives to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice and also seeks to raise awareness of the constant threat of brutality faced by the transgender community. 

"From Minnesota to Maryland and from Houston to Detroit to the nation’s capital, violence against transgender people has continued unabated this year," said Allyson Robinson, HRC Deputy Director of Diversity. "These crimes attempt to erase transgender lives and terrorize our community. On the Transgender Day of Remembrance, we defy that erasure and intimidation by coming together to remember those we’ve lost.”

This year there is some encouraging news.  Polling released earlier this month by the Public Religion Research Institute shows strong majorities of Americans favor rights and legal protections for transgender people.  Key findings include:

•Overwhelming majorities of Americans – including strong majorities of all religious and partisan groups – agree that transgender people should have the same civil rights and legal protections as others;

•Approximately three-quarters of Americans say Congress should pass employment nondiscrimination laws to protect transgender people, and a similar majority favors Congress’s recent expansion of hate crimes legislation to protect transgender people; and

•Approximately two-thirds of Americans are able to identify what the term “transgender" means and report being well informed about transgender people and issues.

“Despite the positive news that more Americans favor rights and legal protections for transgender people, across the country, and particularly in Washington, DC, we are mindful of the increase in violence against the transgender community,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese.  “This Transgender Day of Remembrance, we salute those who put a face on this anti-trans violence. Educating others about their horrific stories will move us to a place where members of our community no longer need to live in fear.”

Transgender Day of Remembrance is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder in 1998 led to the "Remembering Our Dead" web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Since then, the event has grown into an annual memorial for transgender hate crime victims held in hundreds of cities across the country and around the world. For a list of vigils and remembrances worldwide, visit

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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