Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) was started in 1999 as a vigil to remember Rita Hester, a transgender woman killed in 1998. The vigil commemorated all the transgender people lost to violence since Rita’s death, and began what has become the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, a worldwide day of sadness, memory and determination.
‘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
How can I get involved in the Transgender Day of Remembrance?
Participate by attending and/or organizing a vigil on November 20 and learning about the violence affecting the transgender community. In Liverpool we are fortunate to have the support of the Museum of Liverpool (on the Pier Head) which hosts TDOR but you can organise your own event at a community centre, your school, public park or other spaces. The vigil often involves reading a list of the names of those lost that year.
Additionally, the week before TDOR, people and organizations around the country participate in Transgender Awareness Week to help raise visibility for transgender people and address issues the community faces.
It's a bloke, she said, but he's wearing a dress. The bruises are old, and the face is a mess. The canal kept leaking onto the ground, black and cold where he'd been found. Did he jump? Was she pushed? Into the water with a single thrust? We should tell the daughter, the PC said. With him found like that? Dressed to the nines in charity tat. Drunk perhaps. Unsteady and old, thin little dress, must have been cold. Staggering, mincing, shivering, wincing. Why no coat? And the marks on the throat? Did he want to show off the new-bought tights, dancing under disco lights? There should be a wig. And where are the heels? Those kids will know. You have to feel for a man so lost. Took the wrong path and paid the cost. Does anyone know him? Does anyone care? Knock on the doors, find where he's from. Handbag's been found, the money's gone. Shall I open a file, a suspicious death? No sign of trauma. Took his last breath under the water. Tell the press. Tell them everything, yes. It was death by misadventure.