Transgender Day of Rememberance


Kaley Gottschling, Staff Writer

Transgender Day of Rembrance, or TDOR, honors the transgender individuals who have lost their lives to acts of anti trans-violence. 

TDOR is on Nov. 20, and this day was created in 1999 by transgender patron, Gwendoyln Ann Smith. Transgender Week of Visibility runs from Nov. 13-19 to celebrate and educate communities on trans issues. This year, 32 transgender people have been murdered due to anti-transgender violence, and last year, 2021 was named the deadliest year for trans people with 44 anti-transgender motivated murders. “Trans people are extraordinary, strong, intelligent, persistent and resilient. We have to be. And we will not stand for the picking and choosing of rights. We still have hope,” said Grace Dolan-Sandrino, activist.

Gwendolyn originated TDOR to celebrate the life of Rita Hester. Rita Hester was a 34 year old transgender woman. In 1998, she was stabbed 20 times in her Boston apartment. Several trans people are brutally murdered every year solely on the fact that they are transgender. Gwendolyn stated, “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 list of anti-trans murders doesnt end nor begin with Rita Hester.

A transgender woman named Brazil Johnson was a chef who lived in Millwaukee. She was shot mutiple times and murdered July 15. Kathryn Newhouse was only 19 when she was shot and killed by her own father on March 19. Cherry bush was a homeless trans woman who was fatally shot in July. She was reportedly killed based on her gender identity and sexual orientation. Arron Lynch was a 26 year old transgender man when police shot him four times while he was experiencing a mental health crisis. Tatiana Labelle, transgender women, was beaten to death and found in a trash can on March 18. All of these people were killed this year. The lives of these humans matter. No one should have to experience this level of hate.

TDOR is a reminder to keep fighting for transgender people. Gwendolyn stated, “It’s important that we remember these people that may have been forgotten in their lives — that we don’t let them go.” As a community, we can honor the lives taken from this world due to hatred by getting involved. Take the time to learn about their history and participate in local LGBTQ+ organizations during this time. Watch shows or movies like Disclosure on Netflix that showcase the stories of transgender people. 

Learning about Transgender Day of Remembrance is important to the growth and acceptance of this remarkably brave community. If you know someone who is transgender, celebrate them, and make them feel loved and accepted.