Honoring Trans Day of Remembrance

Honoring Trans Day of Remembrance

Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. It was founded in 1999 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith to memorialize the murder of Rita Hester. It evolved from a web-based project into an international day of action. 

Dear MEV Community,

On this Trans Day of Remembrance, we honor all the Trans Women and Girls and gender non-conforming people who have been killed for simply being who they are. And we recognize that in simply being who they are, they push all of us to envision, understand, and create a world that is far more safe, expansive, courageous, and beautiful.

Trans Day of Remembrance Artwork by Artist Ethan X. Parker A
This poster was created in November 2015, as part of the Trans Day of Resilience Art Project. The artist Ethan X. Parker made it in collaboration with Breakout!, a Black youth-led organization in New Orleans that seeks to end the criminalization of LGBTQ youth.

This unrelenting violence against the bodies and spirits of Trans Women and Girls of Color, and Black Trans Women and Girls in particular, is a call to action for each of us to do better. At MEV, we commit to remain indignant in the face of this violence and the disappearing of our families and communities. We honor the powerful and transformative work being led by trans communities and celebrate the leadership of those who have passed and those who are still with us. We will continue to fight both the false gender hierarchy and the false gender binary. 

We commit to:

  • Speak out in support of Trans people and their rights, and to challenge anti-trans behavior, norms, and policies
  • Rethink how we understand gender, make gendered assumptions, and use gendered language
  • Create greater access to resources and opportunities for Trans people, including building a gender-inclusive and liberatory program
  • Stay together in this collective struggle for the long haul 


For Tonight

We invite each of us to take part in a virtual vigil by lighting a white candle tonight and holding space for our Trans siblings. When you light the candle, we ask you silently share a vision/prayer for the world we are working to create in the name of the women and girls whose lives have been taken.  

If you are looking to support trans-led organizations that are working to end violence and carrying on the legacies of Trans ancestors, in our extended MEV community we have Triumphant 2gether, Mijente, Trans*VisibleTransgender Law Center, Trans United, TAKE, and Organización Latina de Trans en Texas. We also encourage you to consult this list of grantees from the Fund for Trans Generations.

We imagine that many of you are hosting or participating in your own events for Trans Day of Remembrance, advocating for additional commitments to support Trans communities, and highlighting additional organizations doing important work. Please share them with the community on this listserv so we can also be in support.

In solidarity,

The MEV Team

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