Massachusetts marks Transgender Day of Remembrance
Created following the murder of a transgender Boston resident nearly 20 years ago, day of reflection now national event
BOSTON – Freedom For All Massachusetts (FFAM) – the bi-partisan campaign fighting to protect the state’s transgender public accommodations protections law from repeal at the ballot in 2018 – today joins with local community members to mark Transgender Day of Remembrance. The day of remembrance was first marked in 1999, following the 1998 murder of Rita Hester, an Allston resident who was transgender. Her murder was never solved.
“Today, the transgender community remembers those we lost to senseless violence and we honor their lives,” said Mason Dunn, Co-Chair of the Freedom for All Massachusetts campaign. “Transgender Day of Remembrance was born out of the grief following Rita Hester’s murder. Her story needs to be told to a new generation and stand as a reminder that our fight for acceptance continues. As we mark this solemn day, we are reminded that next November voters will be asked to uphold the state’s law protecting transgender people from discrimination and harassment. Let this day motivate us to stand strong in the face of ignorance and evil.”
In 2018, Massachusetts will become the first state in the nation where voters can affirm the humanity of transgender people by upholding a transgender nondiscrimination law at the ballot. In 2016, Massachusetts became the 18th and most recent state in the country to update its nondiscrimination law to include explicit protections for transgender people in public places. The law was endorsed and signed by Governor Charlie Baker. Opponents of the law have since submitted the low threshold of signatures necessary to force it onto the 2018 ballot for potential repeal.
Freedom for All Massachusetts enjoys support from the state’s leading law enforcement associations, 16 statewide women’s and victim’s advocacy groups, more than 250 businesses, 350 clergy and congregations, 11 labor unions representing more than 750,000 families, every major professional sports team in New England, the entire MA congressional delegation, the state attorney general, bipartisan leadership in the House and Senate, the Senate President and the House Speaker, and more.