Updated: Nov 15
Trans Day of Remembrance (TDoR) is a day dedicated to memorializing the lives of trans individuals who have lost their lives to transphobic violence. It serves as a poignant reminder of the institutional challenges faced by the trans community and the pressing need for widespread societal change.
TDOR, observed annually on November 20th, was started in 1999 by advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a trans woman murdered in 1998. Since then, it has grown into a global event, shedding light on the disproportionate rates of violence against transgender individuals. The day not only commemorates those who have lost their lives but also raises awareness about the intersecting forms of discrimination and marginalization experienced by trans people that contribute to high homicide rates.
Transgender individuals, especially trans women of color, experience alarming rates of hate crimes and targeted attacks. TDOR serves as a somber testament to the urgent need for societal change. Discrimination against transgender individuals permeates various aspects of life. Not only are trans people at increased risk of experiencing hate crimes, but also employment discrimination, limited access to healthcare, and social ostracization are everyday challenges faced by many in the transgender community.
Trans individuals often face social stigma and prejudice leading to exclusion, isolation, and negative stereotypes. Trans people face discrimination in hiring processes or workplaces including being passed over for jobs, facing unequal pay, or experiencing harassment. Trans individuals may encounter barriers in accessing healthcare that is sensitive to their needs.
This includes challenges in obtaining gender-affirming care or facing discrimination from healthcare providers. Trans students are at a higher risk of bullying and harassment in educational settings which impacts their mental health, academic performance, and overall well-being. Many educational institutions lack inclusive policies that support and protect trans students.
Trans individuals (particularly trans youth) face a higher risk of becoming unhoused due to family rejection or discrimination. Once unhoused, they may encounter additional challenges in finding safe and affirming shelter. Trans people also face issues obtaining identification accurately reflecting gender identity, while being at a high rate of vulnerability to profiling and criminalization.
TDOR prompts us to reflect on the systemic issues that contribute to these struggles and motivates us to advocate for policies that promote equality and inclusion.
To address the root causes of discrimination, education and awareness play a crucial role. TDOR encourages open conversations about trans rights, fostering empathy and understanding. By dismantling stereotypes and dispelling colonial myths surrounding gender identity, society can move towards a more compassionate and accepting stance.
The fight for transgender rights is inherently linked to the broader struggle for human rights. Recognizing the humanity in each individual, regardless of gender identity, is a fundamental step towards building an inclusive world. TDOR is as much a call to action as it is a day of mourning, urging us to challenge prejudices and work towards a future where every person can live authentically and without fear. We must collectively advocate for trans liberation and foster inclusivity, striving towards a world where every individual, regardless of gender identity, can live free from fear and discrimination. As we commemorate TDoR, let us commit to building a more compassionate and equitable society.
Join us in honoring Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR).
We encourage you to support Black-Trans led organization LIPS Florida, a nonprofit organization dedicated to uplifting and empowering Black Trans women. Executive director Ashunte Coleman is currently raising funding for Trans Day of Remembrance (November 20th), an event which memorializes beautiful souls lost to senseless transphobic violence and seeks to continue the work of transforming our socio political landscape which has fostered institutional patterns of trans misogynoir.
This funding will go towards costs for the event as well as continued mutual aid, resource provision, and peer led case management resources that LIPS provides as one of the few Black-led trans centric organizations in Central Florida. Their continued operation and growth is imperative for the safety and well being of our community spaces.