Transgender Day of Remembrance is every year on Nov. 20th. It is a day reserved for commemorating all those who suffered from the acts of violent transphobia.
Consequently, This day was created by transgender activist Gwen Smith after the murder of 35-year-old Rita Hester on Nov. 28th, 1998 in Boston, Massachusettes. Smith established a website in 1999 to hold the records of all the trans lives that have been lost. Obituaries of these individuals are posted on this site along with digital candles.
Currently, this year, Trans Day of Remembrance honours its 20th year as they observe the 22 trans and gender non-conforming people that have passed this year in the United States.
Violence on transgender people is unfortunately not an uncommon occurrence. The American Medical Association describes the violence against trans people in the U.S. as “an epidemic”. Black trans women are tragically targeted the most. According to NBC News, 91 percent of the women killed were Black women.
While activists like Smith do all they can to fight the epidemic, violence against trans people is still at an all-time high, Smith told NBC News, “On one hand, it’s amazing to see how big the event has grown, but at the same time when all is said and done, we are still being killed.”
If you want to make a difference in the cause, there are many ways to support trans people:
- Spread their message. Often trans people are erased from history and hidden in the background. No more. Make their stories known and use hashtags like #TransLivesMatter to make sure no one goes unnoticed.
- Donate your time. There are many organizations you can donate your time to that support trans people. Often, they need extra hands. Here’s a master list of different organisations in the UK.
- Donate your money. Trans people are more likely to live in poverty. According to The National Transgender Discrimination Survey, “34 percent of Black and 28 percent of Latina/o respondents reporting a household income of less than $10,000 a year.”
- Let your lawmakers hear you. A policy can make the most effective change for Transgender people in the long run, so petition for their rights to be demanded and for their safety to live a human life be ensured. Call, protest, petition. Do whatever is necessary to properly stand alongside trans people as effective allies.