Honoring Transgender Day of Remembrance

Transgender Day of Remembrance is recognized each year on Nov. 20 to honor the lives of Transgender people who have been victims of transphobic violence.

TDoR was founded in 1999 by Transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith who started a vigil to honor the life of Rita Hester, a Transgender woman from Boston who was killed the year prior. This vigil has continued each year and spread across the globe with the wish to remember and honor all of the lives lost to violence toward the Transgender community. 

Violence, including murder and hate crimes, against the Transgender community often goes unreported or are misreported, leading to counts that are likely severely underestimated.

While data has not been released for 2022, last year it was reported that 375 lives were lost to anti-transgender violence.

The week before TDoR is known as Transgender Awareness Week. Between Nov. 13 and 19, Transgender people and allies raise awareness about issues faced in the community.

While there are ongoing efforts to reduce transphobic violence, TDoR seeks to bring awareness to the fact that violent crime against Transgender people is still regularly occurring. The day of remembrance is important to honor those who have been lost and to acknowledge the continued violence against the Transgender community. 

On TDoR, many vigils are held all around the country to commemorate those who have passed in the last year, with their names being read aloud. QSU is hosting its own remembrance service on Nov. 21 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the Stoll Room in Sawyer.

“This is a hard season for Transgender people as we mourn the deaths of our brothers, sisters and siblings. There is so much power behind holding a Transgender identity, and this holiday emphasizes how important it is to raise awareness about Transphobic violence and the astronomically large amount of lives taken,” said QSU President and former Suffolk Journal News Editor Dani Webber.

To get involved with TDoR, you can attend a vigil that’s local to you. Or, you can educate yourself and learn how to become a better ally to those in the transgender community. There are many websites like The Human Rights Campaign, Glaad, The Trevor Project and The Rainbow Project that provide great resources for allies, along with resources for Transgender individuals themselves.