Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day set aside to memorialize trans people who have been killed because of their gender identities. Founded in 1998 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender designer and activist in the wake of the murder of Rita Hester in Allston, Mass., the day is now observed in hundreds of cities around the world. Typically, there’s a candlelight vigil, and participants read the names of transgender people who have been killed in the past year. No doubt the name of Islan Nettles, a transgender woman who was murdered in August in New York City, will be read aloud tonight.
This year, Transgender Day of Remembrance falls very close to Hanukkah. It turns out that the two commemorations have more in common than candles. S. Bear Bergman, a Jewish transgender author, draws parallels between the two in a new book, “Blood, Marriage, Wine and Glitter”: