Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.
Additionally, during the week of November 12-19, people and organizations around the country participate in Transgender Awareness Week to help raise the visibility of transgender people and address the issues trans people face.
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. 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
TDOR It is a day to draw attention to the continued violence endured by the transgender community. Violence against the trans community has risen steadily in recent years, according to a report released Monday by the Human Right Campaign (HRC), a national LGBTQ advocacy group. The HRC report found at least 22 people were killed so far this year due to anti-transgender violence, and the organization has tracked 128 anti-transgender homicides in the U.S. since 2013.
The 73-page report documents the 22 lives lost since the beginning of 2018: The victims are mostly young, mostly female and mostly black. Of those killed, 82 percent of the victims were transgender women of color, and 64 percent were under the age of 35.
Transgender people are three times more likely to be unemployed compared to the general population, according to the HRC report, and 30 percent of those surveyed reported having been fired, denied a promotion or subjected to mistreatment at work due to their gender identity.
An FBI report released last week found anti-LGBTQ hate crimes rose 3 percent in 2017, with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people comprising more than 16 percent all 8,828 known hate crime victims. The data found federally reported hate crime incidents targeting the LGBTQ community have risen steadily since 2014, totaling 1,249 last year.