21st Transgender Day of Remembrance vigil honors victims lost to violence

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Dozens of community members came together Wednesday to honor 285 confirmed victims lost to anti-transgender violence at the Utah State Capitol on the 21st annual Transgender Remembrance Day.

The candlelight vigil was held by the Transgender Education Advocates (TEA) of Utah, the Utah Pride Center, and other LGBTQ+ organizations.

Transgender Day of Remembrance originated in 1999 to honor Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. Her vigil began a tradition of commemorating the victims lost to anti-transgender violence every year on November 20th. TEA of Utah has organized an annual vigil in the state since 2006.

Speakers at this year’s event included Sophia Hawes-Tingey, Ermiya Fanaeian, Samantha Taylor, and Olivia Jaramillo with performances from OneVoice Choir and Key Musicians.

The main program consisted of a candlelight vigil where selected members of the transgender community read names of each of the victims.

A week-long memorial with flags commemorating the victims in front of the Salt Lake City and County building will be on the display until Sunday.

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