By Julia Robins
The Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual commemoration of those whose lives have been lost to anti-transgender violence. On November 20, LGBT organizations, communities, and allies gather to honor those who’ve passed and to increase the visibility of anti-transgender violence so that others will hopefully take notice.
Over the last decade, more than one person per month has died due to transgender-based hate or prejudice, regardless of any other factors in their lives.
Too often, acts of anti-transgender violence go unnoticed. While we must work daily to bring to light the pervasive transgender-based hate and prejudice around the world, TDOR is one day in particular when we can come together to commemorate those lost.
Transgender advocate, Gwendolyn Ann Smith, founded TDOR to honor the memory of Rita Hester, an African American transgender woman who was killed in her apartment on November 28th, 1998.
In Smith’s words, “the Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people — sometimes in the most brutal ways possible — it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice.”
TDOR is an opportunity for communities to come together and remember the lives lost to anti-transgender violence. Last year, hundreds of people throughout the commonwealth attended candlelight vigils and services filled with community voices, memorials, and musical performances.
This year, there are a number of TDOR events happening in Virginia. Click here to find one in your community. If you know of an event that is not on our website, please send an email to [email protected], to let us know.
As we remember those lost, you can also take a stand for transgender equality by becoming an EV transgender advocate. We’ll support you as you decide when and how to add your voice to the growing movement in Virginia. From participating in coffee talks, to making a short video, to writing a blog—there are many ways to support transgender equality.