Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) was started in 1999 by Transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. The vigil commemorated all the transgender people lost to violence since Rita Hester’s death, and began an important tradition that has become the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.
“Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people — sometimes in the most brutal ways possible — it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice.” -TDOR founder Gwendolyn Ann Smith.
Traditionally, many communities honor this day by hosting somber candle light vigils, reading a list of Trans folks who have passed, and giving leaders and community members, especially LGBTQ folks, a stage to speak and be represented. According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), LGBTQ people may be twice as likely to experience intimate partner violence as non-LGBTQ people. Transgender survivors are three times more likely to report being stalked compared to cisgender survivors and Transgender women of color are at the highest risk of death.
At Bridges, we support all victims and survivors of the LGBTQ community. We understand and continue to educate ourselves on the complex trauma LGBTQ people face when it comes to discrimination, violence, and abuse, understanding that Trans women of color are among the most vulnerable within the LGBTQ population, as noted above. No matter your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or HIV status, we are here to help.
Join a virtual TDOR candlelight vigil (8pm ET, 5pm PT).
Learn more about TDOR and find out how you, your community, and school can support: