The day after Thanksgiving in 1998, Rita Hester was murdered in Allston — just two days before her 35th birthday. Hester was — by all accounts — glamorous, brilliant, and driven. She was also a transgender woman. Her murder has yet to be solved.
Twenty years later, roughly 300 people gathered inside the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Downtown Crossing for the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. The event started in Boston after Hester’s death, spread to San Francisco, and is now observed around the world. The program followed a march from Dewey Square to Boston Common, despite the dropping temperatures outside. The attendees wore name tags noting their gender preference, and greeted each other inside the church with hugs and warm smiles.
Tamra Tucker, the pastor in charge, welcomed the group to the church and stressed that everyone is welcome at St. Paul, which is part of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.
“There is no real god that does not love you,” Tucker said.