Honoring Our Trans Siblings this Trans Day of Remembrance

How you can show up this Trans Day of Remembrance

This year’s Transgender Awareness Week comes to a close with Trans Day of Remembrance today, November 20th, 2023.

Trans Day of Remembrance is a time to memorialize our trans, nonbinary and gender non-conforming (GNC) siblings whose lives have been lost due to violence and self-harm as a result of transphobia. 

You can show your respects at Trans Day of Remembrance (TDoR) events across the U.S., including local Trans Day of Remembrance Vigil at Out Memphis (more info below).

Why Trans Day of Remembrance Matters

In 2023 so far, we have lost a total of 321 trans and gender diverse people, worldwide. At least 26 trans and gender non-conforming people have been killed this year in the United States. The majority of victims have been trans women and femmes of color, according to an annual study

Transphobia has led to nearly 1 in 5 transgender and gender non-conforming young people attempting suicide this year as opposed to nearly 1 in 10 cisgender young people.

Transphobia is a global issue that affects trans, nonbinary and GNC everywhere. Understanding the day’s history and finding ways to get involved can help minimize transphobic violence. 

A Brief History of Trans Day of Remembrance

Trans Day of Remembrance (TDoR) was started by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a Black trans woman who was killed in 1998. 

Rita Hester was well-known in Boston for being openly trans. As a result, she was quite familiar with transphobic violence. Just a few months before her death, Hester told a Boston paper in response to a recent trans friend’s murder, “I’m afraid of what will happen if [the perpetrator] gets off lightly.”

Hester’s vigil occurred on November 20th of 1999 and memorialized all trans folks killed since Rita Hester’s death. This started the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Trans Day of Remembrance at Out Memphis, flyer
Trans Day of Remembrance flyer, courtesy of Out Memphis.

How to show up this Trans Day of Remembrance

Candlelight vigils, marches, discussions and more are happening all around the U.S. in honor of TDoR. Memphis locals and those in the area can show your respects at the Trans Day of Remembrance Vigil at Out Memphis. 

The event begins at 6pm today, November 20, 2023 and was created to memorialize our beloved trans siblings lost due to transphobic violence in the United States and abroad. 

Even if you are not able to show up, sharing this information with your community can be helpful to raising TDoR awareness. 

Trans Day of Remembrance Vigil. Today, November 20th, 6:00 PM. Out Memphis Cooper Community Center. 892 S. Cooper St. No RSVP required.