November 20—Transgender Day of Remembrance

Transgender Day of Remembrance was founded in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, who was murdered in 1998. The vigil commemorated the lives of transgender and gender-variant people since Hester’s death and launched the commemoration into an annual U.S. and international observance.

Transgender Day of Remembrance brings attention to discrimination and violence faced by transgender and gender-variant people on a daily basis, including transgender people with Black, Indigenous and People of Color identities, who experience disproportionate rates of transphobia, systemic oppression and deadly violence.

WSU Vancouver gives reflection to and uplifts the lives of individuals from across the spectrum of transgender and gender-variant identities; and recognizes incredible efforts of Black, Indigenous and Latino/a/e/x trans leaders who have often been on the forefront of past and present social justice movements for trans rights and empowerment of all people with transgender and gender-variant identities to take up space without conditions.

WSU Vancouver has an articulated imperative to embed equity and belonging in all aspects of campus endeavors. Several campus units, councils and resources assist in this effort, including Cougar Pride, PRISM – the LGBTQ+ Staff and Faculty Association, Center for Intercultural Learning and Affirmation, the Building a Community of Equity Program, the Collective for Social and Environmental Justice, the Council on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Student Access Center, the Office of Equity and Diversity, and the LGBTQ+ Cultural Resources Guide, to name a few.

WSU Vancouver is in solidarity with Transgender Day of Remembrance. We are committed to building a community of equity where transgender and gender-variant students, staff, faculty and guests feel encouraged, loved and supported to thrive. You matter here. You belong here. We’re so glad you’re here.