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York remembers Hester by her stage name of Rita “Real” (pronounced “ray-all”).
She was open, accepting, and free-spirited, he recalls.
It’ll just give people a message that it’s OK to do this.
This is a message we cannot afford to send.”That message was sent. Nangeroni lived to fight on, her quotes appearing in every newspaper report on every transgender death in Boston: Deborah Forte in 1995, Monique Thomas in 1998.
20, advocates around the world hold vigils to honor Hester, and to memorialize those who have been killed both before and since her murder.
For the transgender community in Boston, it was as if the sun had suddenly gone out.“Rita was renowned and infamous,” Reverend Irene Monroe, a speaker at the 1998 vigil for Hester, told The Daily Beast.
Rita Hester’s death had struck a nerve.***If listening to people describe Rita Hester is even a fraction as pleasurable as it was to be around her, then she must have been a phenomenon. Monroe describes her as “ebullient, glamorous, and a ‘sister-diva-friend’ with attitude, sassiness, and style.”“I wasn’t a close friend of Rita’s but knew her like one knows folks in the community where you laugh and lollygag and play catch-up with them,” she told The Daily Beast.
Hester was a rock and roll musician and a performer who danced at venues like Jacque’s Cabaret.
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