In the United States next Tuesday is the Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day to memorialise those killed because of anti-transgender violence or prejudice.

To mark the event, the Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is releasing a public service advert encouraging viewers to treat others with dignity and respect regardless of gender identity/expression or sexual orientation.

The 20-second spot is part of GLAAD’s ongoing “Be an Ally a Friend” campaign and features transgender actress Alexandra Billings (Grey’s Anatomy, ER), as well as T.R. Knight (Grey’s Anatomy), Rachel Griffiths (Brothers Sisters), Rex Lee (Entourage), Jamie Bamber (Battlestar Galactica) and retired NBA player John Amaechi.

Transgender Day of Remembrance was founded nine years ago to honour Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was murdered on November 28th 1998.

The annual event is designed to raise public awareness of anti-transgender hate crimes and to encourage people to be allies to the transgender community.

“It is of vital importance that all of us, regardless of our sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, observe the Transgender Day of Remembrance,” GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano said in a release.

“Transgender people face violence and discrimination every day. We all need to show our support by being allies and friends to the transgender community.”

GLAAD’s “Be an Ally a Friend” campaign features 22 public figures from television, film and sports.

The adverts encourage people to be allies to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and to help combat discrimination, directing viewers to resources at GLAAD.org.

GLAAD is releasing a new 20- or 30-second version of the PSA approximately every two weeks to be aired through broadcast collaborations with Access Hollywood, national cable networks such as Fox Reality, GSN, IFC, Lifetime, The N, Sci Fi Channel and Sundance Channel; local cable systems and network affiliates; online at LiveVideo, YouTube, AOL Video and MySpace; and others to be announced.

Chrys Hudson © 2007 GayWired.com; All Rights Reserved.