Today is the International Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), a day to memorialize those who have been killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The lovely Lacquer Lad wrote a very heartfelt post here and has linked in a couple of bloggers to participate in this day of remembrance. TDOR was started by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender advocate to honour the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. A web project “Remembering Our Dead” and a San Francisco candlelight vigil was held for the first time in early 1999, these two things led to an annual memorial.
"The Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence. 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." Transgender Day of Remembrance founder Gwendolyn Ann Smith
I have to say that researching TDOR for this post has certainly opened my eyes to a world I knew nothing about. Yes, on the peripheral, I knew that violence, hatred and prejudice towards people that are different exists. But, the magnitude of this hate is so hard for me to grasp. When you live in your own little bubble day to day, it’s hard to comprehend that a world beyond yourself exists, especially when it’s so ugly. It’s way easier to bury your head in the sand than face the fact that the human race is slowly killing that which should make our world a better place – our differences. My heart hurts not just for these men and woman who have been brutally murdered, but for their friends and families. Whether the lives they were meant to lead were supported or not, no one should have to lose someone to such ugly violent hatred.
Please take a moment to look over this list from the TDOR website. This is the list of names of people who are being remembered this year on November 20th. Please note that the list is incomplete and is constantly being updated.
I’m not the most eloquent and there is so much information I have missed, but if you have the time, please check out these links for more information about the Transgender Day of Remembrance:
- There is really great information on GLAAD’s website, click here for more.
- A great article written by Gwendolyn Ann Smith can be found here.
- Click here for a list of links on the “Remembering Our Dead” website.
Please join me in visiting the other bloggers participating in this day of remembrance by clicking on the links below.