What is Transgender Day of Remembrance?
Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) was started in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. The vigil commemorated all the transgender people lost to violence since Rita Hester’s death, and began an important tradition that has become the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.
“Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people — sometimes in the most brutal ways possible — it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice.”
– Transgender Day of Remembrance founder Gwendolyn Ann Smith
So far in 2019, 331 transgender and gender diverse people have been killed worldwide,
according to Forbes. 30 of those murdered were in the United States, and these numbers
only reflect individuals where the murder was identified as a hate crime
against transgender and gender diverse people.
How can I get involved in the Transgender Day of Remembrance?
Participate in Transgender Day of Remembrance by attending and/or organizing a vigil on November 20 to honor all those transgender people whose lives were lost to anti-transgender violence that year, and learning about the violence affecting the transgender community. Vigils are typically hosted by local transgender advocates or LGBTQ organizations, and held at community centers, parks, places of worship, and other venues. The vigil often involves reading a list of the names of those lost that year.
Please see resources below on how to write stories about transgender people who have been victimized by crime, and additional resources for writing about the violence that affects transgender people, especially transgender women of color.
Organizations and resources:
- Anti-Violence Project
- International Transgender Day of Remembrance
- National Center for Transgender Equality
- Sylvia Rivera Law Project
- Trans Women of Color Collective
- Transgender Europe’s Trans Murder Monitoring Project
- Transgender Law Center
- TransJustice at the Audre Lorde Project