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This year to celebrate Women’s History Month I decided I wanted to create a series of paintings of influential Trans women. With the laws being passed around the United States right now, it felt particularly important to honor our Trans elders.


I also wanted to support the LGBT+ individuals currently in Ukraine. 60% of the proceeds of these original pieces will be donated to Insight Ukraine. I really do wish I could donate 100% of the proceeds but I am not at a point where I am able to eat the cost of these prints and shipping them. Maybe someday! 


CW: Violence and Trans Death shares a memorial story of Rita's life, stating that "Hester was born on November 30, 1963, to a family... that almost always knew her as a girl. According to her younger sister Diana, Rita didn’t have a “coming out” moment, per se... Rita’s personality and mannerisms even from an early age were such that she was naturally accepted as a girl."


As a young adult, Rita moved to Boston and was a fixture in both the queer and straight bars. She loved to dance and even began working as a backup dancer and performer on stage at rock concerts. She also loved to cook and had a great number of friends.


Tragically, in November 1998 she was brutally stabbed and died on the way to the hospital. She was two days short of her 35th birthday.


After her death, a memorial was held and the hundreds of people, both trans and cis, that had loved Rita attended. However, as time passed it became more and more obvious that there was a difference in how trans individuals were treated posthumously, compared to cisgender individuals.


It was in Rita’s memory that Gwendolyn Anne Smith and fellow activist Penni Ashe Matz organized the first Transgender Day of Remembrance on the anniversary of Hester’s death in 1999.


Thanks to @Them for the wonderful write-up of Hestor's life. All information was pulled from this article.

Dimensions: 6 x 9-inch or 15.2 x 22.9 cm

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Rita Hester | Original Art | Trans History | Gouache | 6 in x 9 in

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