Transgender Day of Remembrance
November 16, 2018
A couple of holidays fall in November. You’ve got Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. But amidst these days is one very important day of awareness that you shouldn’t forget: Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR).
TDoR is observed annually on November 20th. Its purpose is to remember and honor the lives lost to anti-transgender violence. TDoR was started in 1999 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender advocate who was honoring the memory of Rita Hester (a transgender woman murdered in 1998). In the years that followed, Smith began commemorating the lives of other people subject to anti-transgender violence, and the tradition grew into the Transgender Day of Remembrance.
Transphobia—an irrational fear, prejudice or hatred directed at trans people or those who do not conform to gender expectations—fuels violence against trans people. Racism and sexism also potentially play a role, as statistics show that the violence disproportionately affects transgender women of color.
In fact, according to the Human Rights Campaign, the numbers of transgender people murdered in the U.S. has been on the rise; the number of murders in 2017 was the highest yet. It’s important to remember that these are just the ones on record and that there may be other instances of anti-trans violence that were not reported.
Fortunately, there has also been a recent rise in awareness about violence against trans people. TDoR is part of a larger awareness week called Transgender Awareness Week, which runs from November 12th to 19th. Throughout the week and on November 20th are vigils and remembrance events hosted each year by transgender advocates, LGBTQ organizations and allies around the world. You can contribute by attending one of these vigils or by starting your own.
So while the leaves are falling, the weather outside is getting colder and you’re thinking about Thanksgiving or the Black Friday sales, please don’t forget to take a moment and remember those who have been victim to violence simply because of their transgender identity.
Posted In: LGBTQ