Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil at First Parish Chelmsford
Saturday, November 18
First Parish UU Church of Chelmsford will hold their annual vigil for International Transgender Day of Remembrance on Saturday, November 18. The vigil is organized by the Welcoming Congregation Committee of the church, as part of their commitment to being welcoming and inclusive to LGBTQ people by honoring the dates that are special to members of the LGBTQ community and advocating on issues important to them.
The event will begin with a gathering, a procession, and a brief ceremony on the Chelmsford Common.
The second part of the vigil will meet in the Chapel (next to the parking lot). The names of those killed around the world during the past year as a result of transphobia will be read. Music will be provided by the Tervos. The vigil will end with words by Renee Manning and a brief period of fellowship. There will be child care. People are welcome to come for either or both parts of the vigil.
Speaker Renee Elaine Manning has lived in the Boston area her entire life. While beginning her 35th year in technical work, she is currently in her final year in the Masters of Divinity Program at Andover Newton Theological Seminary and is a Member in Discernment for the UCC ordination process. She brings to the table a diverse religious heritage; Catholic, Unitarian Universalist, Baptist and Congregationalist-United Church of Christ. In her free time she enjoys astronomy, model rocketry, re-enacting 8 historical characters in the local school systems and model building. Though she transitioned at the age of 50, she knew she was transgender at the age of four. She now serves as a facilitator for Merrimack Valley PFLAG, and as a Transgender and GLBIQ advocate and teaches “Trans 101” in churches, police stations and venues throughout Massachusetts.
International Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) happens every November around the world. TDOR was first organized in 1999 by transgender woman and activist Gwendolyn Ann Smith to mark the murder of Rita Hester the previous year in Allston, Massachusetts. It has been held annually ever since to raise awareness about the continued violence that is directed at the transgender community. While the official date is November 20, observances are often scheduled on various dates so nearby events do not conflict with each other.