“Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) was started in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. The vigil commemorated all the transgender people lost to violence since Rita Hester’s death, and began an important tradition that has become the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.” from TDOR website.
Transgender people, particularly those of color, disproportionately experience violence, including police brutality. Since last year’s Day of Remembrance, 37 transgender people have been killed in this country. Here in Portland, Oregon, Aja Raquell Rhone-Spears, a Black transgender woman, was killed on July 28, 2020. She also went by Rocky Rhone.
Lost Ones by Daniyel
Portland rapper Daniyel wrote a song in 2019 called Lost Ones as a tribute to his aunt who died of cancer and his uncle who drowned. This year he was approached by videographer Cole Bennett to collaborate with Bennett on producing a video for Lost Ones. Daniyel updated his song to include other families who have been affected by loss, including the family of Aja Raquell Rhone-Spears, a Black transgender woman who was recently murdered at a vigil for another homicide victim, Tyrell Penney, who was killed in a shooting July 25 in SE Portland.
Self-expression and self-identification is one of my personal values. One way to practice this value is to share personal gender pronouns. My name is Mary Ellen and I use she, her, hers pronouns. What pronouns do you use?
Sharing my gender pronouns helps normalize using the right pronouns. Consider including your pronouns in email signatures and in your Zoom name on virtual calls.