El Camino College to Observe Transgender Day of Remembrance

November 15, 2023 Torrance, CA

El Camino College will observe Transgender Day of Remembrance at noon Nov. 20 in the Student Services Plaza. The event includes a performance by Mariachi Arcoiris, the first LGBTQIA+ mariachi band in the world, followed by a presentation about the transgender community by Gina Bigham, program manager of the Trans* Lounge, the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s groundbreaking empowerment program for social connection and support. Refreshments will be provided.

Transgender Day of Remembrance is an annual recognition of the 1998 murder of Rita Hester, a highly visible member of the transgender community in her native Boston who worked to promote awareness and education regarding transgender issues. The following year, advocate and writer Gwendolyn Ann Smith coordinated a vigil in Rita’s honor; this vigil continues today and now commemorates not only Rita’s life and work, but all who were tragically lost to anti-transgender violence. More than two decades later, police still have not found Rita’s murderer.

“Violence against transgender people is at an all-time high,” said El Camino College LGBTQIA Student Success Coordinator Kenny Simkins. “El Camino College is proud to provide a welcoming and inclusive campus environment that promotes and supports LGBTQIA+ students, staff, community and its allies.”

Transgender Day of Remembrance is one of many programs coordinated by the college’s LGBTQIA+ PRIDE Center designed to support students and staff. Other events include Transgender Day of Visibility each spring, annual PRIDE Week activities, and the college just celebrated LGBTQIA+ History Month in October. El Camino also offers opportunities for the college community to be an ally and/or an advocate through the LGBTQIA+ Safe Zone Project, which provides specialized training that gives service members, staff, faculty, and administrators the opportunity to learn best practices in supporting queer students and their allies on campus. In addition, a network of resources is available to students, both on campus and in the community.

El Camino Community College District encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation, or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact the El Camino College LGBTQIA+ PRIDE Center as soon as possible, but no later than seven days prior to the event.

For more information about El Camino College’s LGBTQIA+ resources, view or contact