Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is observed on November 20 and memorializes those whom our communities have lost to anti-trans violence. This observance began in 1999 in Massachusetts and has grown internationally as a date of recognition and mourning. As with communities of color and other groups who experience multiple layers of marginalization, physical violence against transgender, nonbinary, and other gender bending people is accompanied by higher rates of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and state violence. In the United States, Black transgender women are horrifyingly overrepresented as victims of these hate crimes.
As we remember and honor trans communities on TDOR, it is important to pair our memorial activities with action that addresses the root causes of violence and protects those who are made most vulnerable. This might include supporting the Prison Rape Elimination Act; working to include transgender, nonbinary, and other genderqueer people in anti-violence programs and protections; and explicitly including transgender lives and experience in our prevention education.
Considerations for TDOR
- Be mindful of the transgender people in your workplace and communities. The violence and threat of violence we recognize at this event are very present and real in our lives. Memorializing those we’ve lost is a solemn, painful, and deeply personal reminder of our communities’ vulnerability.
- Jahaira Dealto Balenciaga delivered the keynote address while being recognized at the Massachusetts Victim Assistance Conference in 2019. She was a trans advocate, active against sexual and intimate partner violence, and a fixture in the Boston ballroom community. Jahaira was murdered in her home in May this year. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRqdq0bXjmk&feature=youtu.be
- Virtual vigils are being held in the United States and globally. If you would like to find an event to attend and memorialize our communities, PFLAG (https://pflag.org/find-a-chapter) and Eventbrite (https://www.eventbrite.com/d/online/transgender/) are among the many organizations providing opportunities online.
Trans Murder Monitoring maintains a list of Our Names: https://transrespect.org/en/tmm-update-tdor-2021/