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WHEREAS, in 1999, Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender activist, founded Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), to honor Rita Hester, a transgender African American woman who was murdered in 1998; and
WHEREAS, designated on November 20th of each year, Transgender Day of Remembrance honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost to senseless violence, transphobia, self-harm, and structural inequities; and
WHEREAS, LGBTQIA+ organizations, community members, and allies, help raise awareness on the importance of inclusion, protections, and respect for those who are transgender; and
WHEREAS, it is critical that an intersectional perspective and acknowledgement of systematic racism, classism, sexism, and homophobia is needed to effectively address the needs and concerns of transgender individuals and other gender non-conforming people; and
WHEREAS, African American and Latina/Latinx transgender women, as well as other transgender people of color, disproportionately make up the majority of those murdered, attacked, and denied equal treatment; and
WHEREAS, those lost this year and years prior deserve to be honored and remembered – their lives mattered and they will forever be missed by their friends, family, partners, and community; and
WHEREAS, individuals who identify as transgender should be acknowledged, accepted, and validated; and
WHEREAS, our Commonwealth is proud of and strengthened by the rich diversity of Virginians of all identities and will continue to advocate for and promote inclusion;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize November 20, 2020, as TRANSGENDER DAY OF REMEMBRANCE in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.