About Transgender Day of Remembrance
Sunday, November 20, 2022
The Transgender Day of Remembrance is observed each year on November 20 to honor the memories of those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia, the majority of whom are Black transgender women. It’s also a day to draw attention to how stigma, denial of opportunity and other risk factors (like lack of family acceptance and poverty), compound to create a culture of violence against transgender people — and to bring people together in solidarity and action.
Gwendolyn Ann Smith began Transgender Day of Remembrance in 1999 to honor her friend Rita Hester, a Black transgender woman who was murdered in Allston, MA in November 1998. Rita’s murder led to an outpouring of grief and anger as the community struggled to see justice for Rita’s murder and a failure to cover Rita’s life and identity respectfully by local news outlets. The community organized a candlelight vigil for Rita, which Gwendolyn Ann Smith expanded the next year into the Transgender Day of Remembrance to honor everyone killed in transphobic violence.
Despite the relentless violence and discrimination, transgender people live boldly and make life richer in so many ways. We call on you to honor the memory of all who have been lost to violence, and demonstrate your love and respect for all transgender people, by taking action today! To find Transgender Day of Remembrance vigils in the Boston area, see MTPC’s website.
What Can We Do?
- Learn & Share information about the culture of violence and discrimination against the transgender community, especially transgender women of color, such as…
- Initiate conversations with family and friends that challenge their assumptions and raise awareness about the violence against transgender people, especially transgender women of color.
- Donate to and follow mutual/direct aid funds that provide support for transgender people, such as:
- Ask the transgender people in your life, how you can support them, and make a plan to do so. Please only reach out directly to people who have explicitly shared this part of their identity with you themselves.
For more information, resources and media guidelines, check out GLAAD’s Transgender Day of Remembrance webpage.
Consider sharing this page with educators and municipal leaders in your town.