Reminder: November 20th is the Transgender Day of Remembrance

Image of a tombstone, overlaid with the transgender symbol and text reading 'Eleventh International Transgender Day of Remembrance November 20, 2009'This Friday, November 20th, is the Eleventh Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. The Transgender Day of Remembrance is a day on which the transgender community, as well as their families, friends and allies, come together to remember the people who have been killed as a result of transphobic violence. You can find the long list of known deaths since the last TDOR here. (Note: the descriptions of the murders may be triggering.) Though there are many men, and people who identified outside the gender binary on the list, the vast majority of victims were women. A disproportionate number of victims were also people of color.

All over the world, vigils and other events will be held to honor and remember the dead and/or to raise awareness about the epidemic of violence against transgender people. Some of these events will be held on the 20th, with others being held the day before or after. There is an international list of events at the Transgender Day of Remembrance website. Click through to find out if there is one in your area, and be sure to contact the list’s curator Ethan if you know of an event that has not been included.

For more on the history, meaning and importance of the TDOR, check out this article by Monica Roberts over at Global Comment.

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2 comments for “Reminder: November 20th is the Transgender Day of Remembrance

  1. RD
    November 18, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Also a disproportionate number of the victims are sex workers. There are more people there who were sex workers than who were identified that way in the list- I recognized quite a few of the names from a list of sex workers who have been murdered in the past year who we are compiling to read on our vigil/speakout on December 17th, the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. And if you go to the articles they linked some of them say.

    I’m surprised they used “he” to describe Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado. I don’t think it was clear that was the pronoun Mercado would have preferred. I know the media seems to be going with this as the slaying of a “gay (cis male) teen,” but that doesn’t seem accurate from what’s been reported. (Shame on Pam’s House Blend.) Mercado is reported to have been a sex worker.

  2. ginasf
    November 19, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    Thanks to RD for mentioning the Lopez Mercado murder as a transphobic crime. Ms. Lopez Mercado was, in fact, presenting as female when she was attacked and killed. I would like to remind you that Lateisha Green and Gwen Araujo were also referred to by their male birth names and male pronouns in the first weeks of reporting their murders. Both were referred to as ‘gay men’ even though they were, in fact, both transitioning heterosexual transwomen. Furthermore, the Lawrence King case, widely reported as a crime against a gay teenager was, when you look at it, also likely a transphobic murder. King was dressing extremely femme in the weeks before zie was murdered. I’m not saying zie clearly identified as female but, at 15, many transpeople have made such tentative forays into cross-gender expression and, had they been murdered at this time, might also have been identified as ‘gay’. If nothing else, hir cross-gender expression puts that crime into a different category from someone like Matthew Shepard.

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