The Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), which occurs annually on 20 November, is a day to remember those who have been killed as a result of transphobia and to bring attention to the continued violence endured by the transgender community.
TDoR was founded in 1998 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a trans woman who is a graphic designer, columnist, and activist, to memorialize the murder of Rita Hester in Allston, Massachusetts. Rita Hester’s murder — like most anti-transgender murder cases — has yet to be solved.
It is a sad fact that the deaths of those based on anti-transgender hatred or prejudice are largely ignored. Over the last decade, more than one person per month, worldwide, has died due to transgender-based hate or prejudice, regardless of any other factors in their lives. This trend shows no sign of abating.
TDoR serves several purposes:
- It raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people, an action that current media doesn’t perform.
- It publicly mourns and honours the lives of trans* brothers and sisters who might otherwise be forgotten.
- It expresses love and respect for trans* people in the face of national indifference and hatred.
- It reminds non-transgender people that trans* people are their sons, daughters, parents, friends and lovers.
- It also gives trans* allies a chance to step forward with the global trans* community and stand in vigil, memorializing those who’ve died by anti-transgender violence.
If you have five minutes today, take a look at TDoR’s memorial wall for this year and, if you have never felt in danger of being assaulted or killed for simply being who you are, consider how different your life could be if you had been born a trans woman of colour living in Brazil. It’s a sobering thought.
Then, if you feel the urge to take action, Galop support transgender victims of hate crime, violence, harassment and abuse across the UK. You can donate here.