Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) falls on November 20th, right after Transgender Awareness Week, serving as a moment to collect our energy and honor the loved ones we have lost.
As we mark TDOR in 2023, the urgency of this day is underscored by the statistics within TGEU’s Trans Murder Monitoring report: globally, over 300 known trans and gender diverse individuals were murdered this year, as reported by TGEU. Of the 320 we lost, 38 known trans deaths were from the United States.
- 🕯️Subscribe to our latest newsletter to stay informed and access trans-affirming resources worldwide.
- 🕯️Support a local trans-led org in your city/state. Contact us if you need a recommendation.
- 🕯️Learn more about and support trans activists, artists, and public servants in your city/state. You can learn more about them by subscribing to our podcasts: translash.org/podcast
- 🕯️Support Black trans people in ways that Black trans people want to be supported. Learn more: translash.org/blacktransfemmes
WHAT IS TDOR?
According to GLAAD and Remember Our Dead, TDOR started in San Francisco in 1999, when trans advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith held a vigil honoring the memory of Rita Hester, a trans woman who was killed in her home two days before her 35th birthday. Ever since, TDOR has taken place on November 20th. Attendees honor Rita and her unsolved case, as well as our transgender and TGNC siblings who are no longer with us.
Decades later, the violence that Rita Hester and others have befallen is not yet a relic of the past, but a present and pressing reality. The majority of 2023’s lives taken from us were Black trans women or trans feminine people, who faced the compounded threats of misogyny, racism, xenophobia, and whorephobia.
Within our own communities, it’s important to note that we don’t share a monolithic experience: Black trans women face extreme levels of unemployment, as well as housing, education and health care distress. Black trans women are dying because so many other things are failing.
Honoring trans women isn’t enough. We must end the killing.
The living who mourn the dead on Transgender Day of Remembrance deserve access to safe community experiences and resources, which is how TDORR came to be the companion acronym to TDOR—with complimentary but different definitions.
WHAT DOES TDORR MEAN?
Trans Day of Resilience (TDORR), initially coined by BreakOUT in 2015 (learn more about New Orleans trans leaders here), represents an evolution of Trans Day of Remembrance. This important distinction shifts the narrative from mourning murdered trans people but to also celebrating the resilience of trans communities, especially trans women of color facing escalated violence. This day not only acknowledges our struggles but also our strength and survival as trans people.
It’s crucial to recognize that the word resilience can be problematic, as it is sometimes weaponized against the trans community: “trans people are so strong and resilient” can often be a justification for not taking our safety seriously. Just because some trans people have a high tolerance for pain and suffering doesn’t mean that this should be normalized. “Resilient” can inadvertently suggest an expectation for trans folks to endure hardship without adequately addressing two key factors:
#1: Systemic oppression is real. We unpack the different ways in which trans people are criminalized for existing in our podcast series offerings.
TRANSPHOBIA ON TDORR
Many news outlets continue to use deadnames and to misgender the trans lives they post about on social media, often just for #TDOR #TDORR clicks and comments. Our trans siblings deserve so much better than that.
In 2021, Team TransLash collaborated with artist Wriply Bennet to document everyone we lost that year. You can view all of the commemorations in TransLash Zine Vol. 4: ‘Migration Stories’, and purchase a print edition here.
ICYMI: Wriply is featured on TransLash Podcast with Imara Jones: listen to ‘Stopping & Healing From Violence‘ after exploring this guide.
Explore this roundup of our trans-affirming guides, as well as other TDORR resources for TGNC people and allies. We hope you have a meaningful Transgender Day of Remembrance and Resilience, in whatever shape that takes for you.
- 🕯️The Burden Of Trans Grief: Finding Solace Through Spite
- 🕯️5 Meaningful Ways You Can Show Up For Trans People This Trans Awareness Week and Beyond, Pink News
- 🕯️#AntiTransHateMachine: with over 300 anti-trans bills across the country, Team TransLash’s podcast series investigates and uncovers the forces and organizations responsible for the bills meant to ban trans youth from access to life-saving and equal healthcare. We expose a highly-organized political apparatus by centering the voices and stories of trans people, as well as their families, who are victimized by this hostile movement.
- 🕯️Honoring Transgender Day of Remembrance, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates (a guide for ways that companies, ERGs, and others can take meaningful action to honor the lives lost)
- 🕯️Marking the Deadliest Year on Record, Human Rights Campaign Announces Release of Annual Report on Violence Against Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People, Human Rights Campaign
- 🕯️‘Trans Awareness Week’ Sounds Nice, but We Need Action, The Daily Beast
- 🕯️Why We Need To Care About Unsolved Trans Deaths, Pennsylvania Capital-Star
- 🕯️In the Shadow of the Health-Care City: Historicizing Trans Latinx Immigrant Experiences during the Coronavirus Pandemic by Leo Lili Valdes
- 🕯️Here’s a list of Black trans leaders and Black trans-led organizations to follow on Instagram, curated by @blackaids.
Need additional support today? Here are some people you can call who are ready to listen:
- Trans Lifeline – 877-565-8860
- LGBT National Youth Talkline – 1-800-246-7743
- TrevorLifeline – 1-866-488-7386
- TrevorText – Text START to 678-678
- The Steve Fund Crisis Textline* – Text STEVE to 741741
- LGBT National Hotline – 1-888-843-4564
TransLash’s Trans-Affirming Guides
- Mental Health Resources for Mental Health Awareness Month
- Holocaust Remembrance Day: Pink Triangle Legacy
- TransLash Guide to Hispanic Heritage Month
- Sexual Assault Awareness Month
- Non-Binary Awareness Week
- Bisexual Awareness Week
- Intersex Awareness Day
- LGBT History Month
- Pride Month
Submit any Transgender Day of Remembrance and Resilience resource links that we may have missed here.
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