The LGBT Health & Development Program

Youth Blog—What to Remember on Trans Day of Remembrance?

Posted on November 19th, 2015 by IMPACT in Featured, Transgender, Youth Blog. No Comments

Written by Kinton Rossman*, M.Ed., IMPACT Resident

Woman wearing a shirt that says "All Genders Matter," holding trans flag

Image credit: Ted Eytan, “Trans Solidarity Rally and March 55401,” May 17, 2015.

Transgender (trans) and gender non-conforming (GNC) people have been in the media a lot during 2015. For example, Caitlyn Jenner’s story was widely covered. She represented the first person many Americans had known to transition. Caitlyn’s story is one example of what it is like to be trans/GNC, and it is not the only one. In fact, violence and discrimination are a common experiences for many trans/GCN people [1]. The Trans Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an event held every year on November 20 to honor trans/GNC people who were murdered because of their identities.

So we know that violence happens to trans/GNC people, but why? When looking for answers it is important to also think about how issues like race, ethnicity, and poverty impact the lives of trans/GNC people. In fact, events like TDOR highlight that the people who often face the most violence are people who are the most marginalized. For example, during TDOR events, the names of the dead are almost always trans women/trans feminine individuals and, almost always, people of color.

Given all this violence, what can be done to help? One idea is to become an ally to trans women/trans feminine individuals. This way, you can help support them.

Here are 6 tips for making the world a safer place for trans women and trans feminine people.

1. Promote safety by learning about how to be a good ally and call out transphobia when you see it.

  • PFLAG offers a great introduction to being an ally.
  • This article provides some more advanced tips on being an ally.

2. Show up for trans women by attending a local Trans Day of Remembrance vigil and/or Trans Week of Awareness (TWOA) event(s).

3. Support the voices of trans women/trans feminine people by finding and supporting trans-made media. Here are just a few examples.

4. Respect trans women/trans feminine people, especially in romantic relationships. This comic highlights things to think about and ways to be considerate to the trans women you are dating.

5. Donate to organizations that help trans women/trans feminine people. There are many local and national organizations doing really important work with and for trans women/trans feminine people. Here is a list of just a few such organizations.

 6. Learn about the important figures in the trans movement and the history of trans women/trans feminine people.

  • This document below contains speeches made by trans pioneer Sylvia Rivera.
  • This article gives some examples of lesser known women in trans history.

* The author of this article is a white, nonbinary, FAAB individual. The article was written to be helpful, but is in no way exhaustive. Please always listen and defer to trans women/trans feminine people about their lived experiences.

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[1] Grant, J. M., Mottet, L., Tanis, J. E., Harrison, J., Herman, J., & Keisling, M. (2011). Injustice at every turn: A report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey. National Center for Transgender Equality.

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