Transgender Day of Remembrance 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 Hester’s death, and began an important tradition that has since become the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.

To commemorate this tradition, Virginia Tech will host a virtual event, “Transgender Day of Remembrance 2020,” on November 20 at 6 p.m. EST. Providing the keynote address will be Amiyah Scott, an actress, model, author, and LGBTQ+ advocate.

Scott is best known for playing Cotton on Lee Daniel’s Star on Fox, a role in which she became the first transgender actress to play a transgender character on a major network television series. In just a short time, her trailblazing brand in beauty, modeling, and acting has garnered immense popularity among the trans community and beyond. 

A proud advocate of the LGBTQ+ community, Scott seeks to give voice to transgender females. She has struggled with bullying and acceptance throughout her life, but has never let that deter her drive, ambition, or goals. To help others persevere, she has started a foundation called Transgender Empowerment of America.

The event is sponsored by the LGBTQ+ Resource Center, the Africana Studies Program, the Black Cultural Center, HokiePride, the Moss Arts Center, and the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention.

To attend this free virtual event, visit its registration page.