November is Transgender Awareness Month

The month of November marks Transgender Awareness Month, a time for trans and gender nonconforming people and their allies to come together to celebrate successes and to take action on issues of prejudice, discrimination, and violence that affect the transgender community.

During Transgender Awareness Month, there are a couple of important observances: Transgender Awareness Week and the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR).

Every year, between November 13th and 19th, people and organizations nationwide participate in Transgender Awareness Week to help raise visibility about transgender and gender nonconforming people and to address issues members of the community face. Awareness is raised by educating the public about who transgender/gender nonconforming people are, sharing stories and experiences, and advancing advocacy around issues as prejudice, discrimination, and violence.

Transgender Awareness Week is a week-long lead up to November 20th, Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR). TDOR was founded in 1999 by trans activist Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, an African American transgender woman who was murdered in Boston, MA on November 28, 1998. Rita Hester was a highly visible member of the Boston transgender community where she worked to educate people about transgender issues. A year later, Smith coordinated a vigil which sparked a movement to commemorate not only Rita Hester but all lost to anti-transgender violence. This year, TDOR marks its 22nd year when the first events were held in Boston and San Francisco. Since then, TDOR, Transgender Awareness Week, and Transgender Awareness Month have become national and international observances for the LGBTQ+ community and its allies.

This year also marks the return of in-person events following the horrendous year when the world saw COVID-19 spread and surge. Below are list of known events happening this month:

  • Wednesday, November 17th @ 9:00 a.m.
    Transgender Awareness Month
    November is Transgender Awareness Month at the VA. Please join SAGEVets and VA professionals representing Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, and the Bronx as we celebrate programs and services available to transgender and gender diverse Veterans. Hear from medical specialists and the Veterans who benefit from these services in this important one-hour virtual seminar. Medical providers, Veterans, and the public are invited to this free event.
  • Saturday, November 20th @ 6:30 p.m.
    2021 Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance Candlelight Vigil
    Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 2620 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento, CA

    This 23rd International Transgender Day of Remembrance memorializes those who have lost their lives due to their actual or perceived gender identity and expression. The first memorial was a candlelight vigil held in Boston in November 1999 to honor Rita Hester, murdered in 1998. Since then, annual memorials have been observed around the world around November 20. Since 2005, our support group has held an Annual Candlelight Vigil in Sacramento in observance of the International Transgender Day of Remembrance on a Saturday near November 20.  People of all traditions are welcome to this inclusive community memorial.  COVID-19 precautions will be observed.

Lastly and quite certainly not the least, according to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), 2021 has seen at least 43 transgender or gender nonconforming people fatally shot or killed in violence. The number given only refers to reported cases and not those unreported or misreported. Also, a majority of those killed are African American or Latinx transgender women.

Local Resources

National/International Resources

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