Monday, November 21, 2016

[194] MTSU remembers transgender murder victims with Nov. 19 vigil

MURFREESBORO — MTSU will set aside a day to reflect on people who were murdered because of their gender identity or expression.

The Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs and MT Lambda will present the Transgender Day of Remembrance beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, with an all-day display on the Student Union Commons. The event will culminate with a walk from James E. Walker Library to the commons beginning at 5 p.m. A printable campus parking map is available at

Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender activist, started the observance to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was found murdered Nov. 28, 1998, in her Boston, Massachusetts, apartment. She had been stabbed 20 times in the chest.

The first vigil in memory of Hester and other transgender murder victims was conducted in San Francisco’s Castro district in 1999. The Transgender Day of Remembrance is now celebrated worldwide. According to, at least 87 transgender individuals have been murdered in 2016 as of Nov. 7.

MT Lambda is an MTSU student organization that provides support to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender members of the campus community. The MTSU Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs exists “to promote cultural awareness, understanding and a sense of belonging for all students at MTSU,” according to

The Transgender Day of Remembrance is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs at 615-898-5812 or

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