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Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance

Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), an annual observance is on November 20.
Photo credit:
GLAAD

Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. Around the globe, including at home in San Diego, numerous organizations and community groups are hosting events to honor the day and remember the lives lost.

According to GLAAD, TDOR was started in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. The vigil commemorated all the transgender people lost to violence since Rita Hester's death and began an important tradition that has become the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.

"The Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence," said Smith. "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."

The International Transgender Day of Remembrance website lists the names and dates of trans individuals who have died due to anti-trans violence since 2007. The list from 2017 is here.

In the United States alone, as of Nov. 1, 2017, 23 trans individuals have been murdered, all of except 2 were people of color. GLAAD notes that victims of anti-transgender violence are overwhelmingly transgender women of color, who live at the dangerous intersections of transphobia, racism, sexism, and criminalization which often lead to high rates of poverty, unemployment, and homelessness. While some homicides have not yet been identified as hate crimes due to lack of information about the perpetrators or motives, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs reports an alarming multi-year trend showing that transgender women experience a greater risk of death by hate violence than any other group.

Community members are encouraged to stand up against these acts of violence and remember the victims by participating in TDOR activities today. TDOR events, including in San Diego, often include a reading of the names of those whose lives have been lost in the current year.

San Diego Transgender Day of Remembrance

The San Diego LGBT Community Center will host a TDOR event this evening starting at 6 pm. Participants will gather outside of The Center, located at 3909 Centre St. in Hillcrest, starting at 6 pm for a march. At 7 pm, community members will gather in The Center's Auditorium for a program. For more information contact trans@thecentersd.org or visit the Facebook event page.

North County San Diego Transgender Day of Remembrance 

The North County LGBTQ Resource Center will also host a TDOR event this evening starting at 7 pm. The event will be held in the City of Oceanside Public Library, located at 330 N. Coast Hwy in Oceanside. More information is on the Facebook event page.