According to PFLAG National, from October 1, 2019 to September 30, 2020, approximately 47 transgender lives were taken in the United States and about 386 worldwide. The graphic shows a list issued by PFLAG of 53 lives taken but there is one important and tragic fact: the 386 lives (including the 47 U.S. deaths) taken around the world are known cases of anti-transgender violence or self-harm. More than likely, there are several more deaths of transgender people that have not been reported at all. The omission of mainstream reporting of crimes against the transgender community is one of the reasons TDOR was implemented. This year, PFLAG has adopted #SayTheirNames to bring awareness to the 53 transgender lives taken in the last year.
Earlier this month, Sac Rainbow Vets issued a post on Transgender Awareness Month and provided information on the month’s observances. Inspired by the 1998 murder of Rita Hester, Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is held on November 20th each year following Transgender Awareness Week from November 13th to the 19th during Transgender Awareness Month. It serves several purposes:
- Raise public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people that is not covered by the media.
- Publicly mourn and honor the lives of transgender people taken over the last year and previous years.
- Express love and respect for the transgender community in the face of national indifference and hatred.
- Reminds non-transgender people that transgender people are sons, daughters, parents, friends, and lovers.
- Provides allies a chance to step forward and stand in vigil with the transgender community to memorialize those who have died by anti-transgender violence.
If you wish to participate in TDOR 2020, the following events are being held to honor our transgender brothers and sisters:
- Trans Day of Remembrance 2020: Be An Ally, Light A Candle for Our Transcestors (IN-PERSON event) @ 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. @ Southside Park in Downtown Sacramento. This event is hosted by the Gender Health Center (GHC). Attendees must wear a mask and practice social distancing.
- PFLAG Connects: Virtual Vigil for Transgender Day of Remembrance @ 5 p.m. – Join PFLAG National and Waves Ahead for a short PFLAG Connects virtual vigil in honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance. Participants will gather to say the names of our transgender loved ones who died by violence in the last year, and celebrate trans lives to mark the end of Transgender Awareness Week.
- Transgender Day of Remembrance Fundraiser Reading @ 7 p.m.: In recognition of this Day of Remembrance, Subhaga will read from her work in progress, Transitory: A Catalog of Gender Nonconforming and Trans Women and Men Murdered in 2020. The reading will feature a poem for each lost trans or gender nonconforming sister or brother and will benefit the National Center for Transgender Equality.