By Kristi Parker
MANHATTAN, TOPEKA, WICHITA - Started online in 1999 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) is a day to memorialize those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia. On Nov. 20 Smith started a web-based memorial for Rita Hester, a transgender friend who was murdered in Allston, MA.
To bring attention to the continued violence endured by the transgender community the event has been held annually ever since and has evolved into an international cause with events spanning the week of Nov. 14-20. It is thought to now be observed in more than 20 countries.
Locally, several communities in Kansas will be marking the day with events of their own. At K-State in Manhattan, the Gender Collective is hosting several events. Stephanie Mott will be speaking Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 6:30pm in the Bluemont Room at the K-State Union. A candlelight vigil will follow on Bosco Plaza if weather permits. An information table will also be setup in the Union from Nov. 13-17. Find K-State Gender Collective on Facebook for updates.
In Topeka, activist Luc Bensimon and the youth group Beacon are coordinating events for Nov. 20 from 6-8pm at the Capital City Equality Center.
And finally, in Wichita, WiTCoN is partnering with the WSU Office of Diversity and Inclusion for an event to be held Nov. 20 from 6-8pm at Pine Valley Christian Church, 5620 E. 21st St. There will be a few speakers and a memorial service as well as social time afterward with light snacks at the Wichita event. l