Sacramento candlelight vigil to memorialize transgender deaths

Transgender Day of Remembrance, an international tribute to transgender people, gender-variant individuals and those perceived to be transgender who have died, will be observed with a candlelight vigil Saturday in Sacramento.

The event marks the death of Rita Hester, a young transgender woman who was killed in Massachusetts in 1998. Since then, communities around the nation have been gathering on or around Nov. 20 to mourn the loss of others who were victims of violence.

The Sacramento Transgender Day of Remembrance started under the leadership of the Sutter Gender Identity Support group in 2005. Saturday’s candlelight vigil is co-sponsored by Sacramento Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays and the Gender Health Center, a midtown nonprofit specializing in therapy and counseling for people struggling with gender identity.

The vigil will feature speakers from the community, and the reading of names of those who have died. It will be held at the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 2620 Capitol Ave.

Rachael Hudson, operations and outreach manager at Gender Health Center, said the event aims to raise community awareness about violent crimes toward transgender people.

“People don’t even realize it’s so bad, that so many people are killed because of their gender identity,” she said. “It’s almost always a really violent thing. You can feel the hate there. We try to demonstrate that something needs to be done.”

Call The Bee’s Sammy Caiola, (916) 321-1636.

Transgender Day of Remembrance Candlelight Vigil

When: Saturday Nov. 20, 6:30 p.m.

Where: Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 2620 Capitol Ave., Sacramento

Info: sacgender.org