Transgender Day of Remembrance

Posted November 20, 2009

The Eleventh Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance is being observed in about 150 localities around the world this week, commemorating more than 160 transgender or gender-different people who have lost their lives in the last 12 months due to anti-trans violence. In the United States alone, more than 90 local observances are planned.

Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) began with events in two cities in 1999, and has grown exponentially since then, largely by Internet and word of mouth. The primary day of observance, Nov. 20, was chosen to mark the murder of Rita Hester, a transwoman, in Boston on that date in 1998.

Transgender and other gender-different people continue to be subject to major risk of hate-motivated violence as well as severe discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations and services and other areas of life.

The rise of TDoR has paralleled the growth of an active movement for equality for trans people. Since 1999, anti-discrimination laws and ordinances have been adopted in 12 states and scores of municipalities and counties in the United States, up from one state and a handful of cities, mostly college towns, before that date.