November 19, 2020
Though there tends not to be enough talk about the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), you may have heard the name tossed around on social media or by your school’s gender-sexuality alliance. Even so, you might not know what it really means.
TDoR happens annually on November 20th. It’s a day meant to honor the transgender people who have lost their lives due to anti-transgender violence in the prior year. It also serves as a reminder to take action to protect those who are transgender. TDoR started in 1999 as a way to honor Rita Hester, a transgender Black woman who had been murdered in Boston the year before.
Still a Long Way to Go
The progress we’ve made in the U.S. towards the acceptance of trans people in recent years has been significant. The fact that so many people now know what it means to be transgender shows that there has been increased awareness and visibility. But there is a darker reality that many trans people face that doesn’t get talked about enough. Violence against the trans community almost entirely affects transgender women, especially trans women of color.
Transphobia and discrimination often force transgender people into vulnerable situations—like homelessness and unemployment—that put them more at risk for violence. Plus, there is still widespread discrimination against them. The number of trans people who are murdered each year has been rising. It’s easy to feel helpless—I know sometimes I do. But there are steps you can take to help.
What You Can Do
You can raise awareness on social media and in other environments like school about what it is to be transgender and why those who identify as trans need and deserve support. Once you turn 18, you can intentionally vote for representatives and lawmakers who will prioritize the well-being of transgender people and work against their discrimination.
Supporting and following transgender creators online also makes a difference. You can support transgender actors, like Angelica Ross and Laverne Cox, just to name a couple. You can also support trans artists, like designer Pierre Davis, trans musicians like Ryan Cassata, and trans-owned businesses like gc2b, which specializes in safe, comfortable binders.
Something that can be done for TDoR 2020 is to honor those who have died by attending a virtual vigil being held by PFLAG, a non-profit organization that supports the queer community.
Whether you’re trans or an ally, by doing things in your everyday life to help raise awareness and promote tolerance and kindness, you’re helping to achieve a kinder, safer and more inclusive future.