Each year, on November 20, we observe the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), a solemn time to honor the lives of transgender people lost to acts of anti-transgender violence.
This day is not just about remembrance; it's a poignant reminder of the ongoing struggle for transgender rights, a cause that SisterLove, Inc. champions with unwavering commitment.
The History of Transgender Day of Remembrance
TDOR began in 1999, initiated by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil for Rita Hester, a transgender woman whose life was tragically cut short.
This vigil, which now marks TDOR, honors all transgender people who have been victims of fatal violence since Hester's death. Smith emphasizes the importance of remembering these individuals and fighting for justice, recognizing the dire consequences of anti-transgender bigotry and violence
Current Challenges Facing Transgender Communities
Today, the transgender community still faces many intersectional challenges.
High rates of discrimination in healthcare, employment, and public life persist, leaving many vulnerable. Disturbingly, in 2023 alone, at least 34 transgender and gender non-conforming individuals have been killed, underscoring an epidemic of violence, particularly against Black trans women.
Such figures likely undercount the actual number of lives lost, as some deaths may go unreported or victims may not be identified correctly.
Why TDOR is Essential Today
TDOR plays a crucial role in bringing attention to the violence faced by the transgender community. It's a call to recognize and combat the deep-rooted stigma, bias, and discrimination that transgender and gender non-conforming people endure, especially those holding multiple marginalized identities. It’s a time to reflect on how societal attitudes and laws contribute to this crisis, including the introduction of anti-trans legislation and the failure of media and social platforms to advocate for trans rights.
Actions and Solidarity
There are many ways to participate in remembering the lost lives on TDOR, from attending vigils and community events, to educating oneself and others about the issues facing the transgender community.
We must also reaffirm our solidarity with the transgender community, commit to more understanding, and always advocate for inclusive, nondiscriminatory policies.
Taking Action in Solidarity
TDOR is more than a day of remembrance; it’s a call to action. We must remember the lives lost and continue the fight for a world where transgender rights are not just acknowledged but fully realized. Stand with us in this mission – your support can make a world of difference.
Join us in remembering the lives lost and advocating for a future of equality and justice. Sign on to our pledge to end transphobia.