I just heard about Transgender Day of Remembrance a few days ago, and I think more people need to know about it. Note I’m not part of the trans community. So if you would like to learn more about certain issues the LGBTQIA+ community faces, organizations like GLAAD are great places to start. Many of these organizations, like GLAAD, have a section on how they are supporting trans people in terms of resources and info on how allies can support them.
Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual observance on November 20 that honors the lives of trans and gender-diverse people that were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.
Additionally, the week prior to TDOR, people and orgs around the world participate in Transgender Awareness Week to raise visibility about the issues and the struggles that affect the transgender community have to go through and who transgender people are.
According to an article by GLAAD, Transgender Day of Remembrance began 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. It commemorated all the transgender people lost to violence that year and started an important memorial that is now the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.
A shocking statistic I learned recently is that a total of 3664 trans and gender-diverse people were reported killed in 75 countries between January 2008 and September 2020.
You can participate in TDOR by attending or organizing a vigil on November 20 to honor all the lives were to anti-transgender violence that year, usually hosted by local trans advocates or LGBTQIA+ organizations. The memorial often involved reading a list of names of those who died that year.
What’s one thing you can do right now? Watch movies, TV shows, and documentaries that reflect or comment on their experiences. One of them is Netflix’s new transgender media history documentary Disclosure. Tell a friend who is transitioning right now how much you appreciate them. There’s endless possibilities.
Importantly, if you don’t know what pronouns to use, listen first. Respect the terminology a trans person uses to describe their identity. Don’t ask a transgender person what their “real name” unless they’re okay with it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
My name is Emily and I'm an ordinary person who aspires to do something extraordinary. My hobbies include baking, reading, journaling, writing, and sometimes attempting new things. Most importantly, I believe that every person deserves to live with promise and hope. However there are still a lot of people that have to deal with bullying every single day, thus I want to change that. I want to be part of the solution, part of the change, and as Anne Frank once said, "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."