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Transgender Day of Remembrance

November 20, 2009
Transgender Day of Remembrance candles
Image by anniekate via Flickr

Today marks the eleventh annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day set aside to honor the lives of those who have lost everything to transphobia, a day to stop ourselves from forgetting the victims of a society that teaches one acceptable narrative of bifurcated gender and teaches hatred for all those who do not fit its strictures. At least 162 transgendered people have been killed since the last Day of Remembrance. The actual numbers are likely much higher as the same hatred which leads to such murders often leads to silence about the identities of those killed and the reasons why they were killed. Even among the listed deaths, many of the victims’ names remain unknown.

They have been all but erased, and today is a day to speak against their erasure.11th International Transgender Day of Remembrance Today is a day to hold their names and memories up against the silence and the violence and to begin, again, to do everything we can to bring the number of those killed because of their gender or the expression of their gender down to zero.

No one should have to fear violence because of who they are, how they understand and present their gender, or the story of their body. Changing the climate that makes that fear a reality for so many people means changing the way the media discusses the bodies of everyone who doesn’t fit certain cis standards of gender and sex (or is even just suspected of not conforming). It means speaking up when people around you say something transphobic. It means, too, speaking out against violence while honoring its victims. And it means continuing to resist hatred for more than one day out of the year.

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  1. November 20, 2009 4:02 pm

    “No one should have to fear violence because of who they are, how they understand and present their gender, or the story of their body” – I couldn’t agree more, we are all different and all unique; something which should be celebrated, not seen as a threat.

    It never ceases to shock me how common transphobia and transphobic violence are. As you rightly point out, until there is a greater understanding throughout society of the complexity of gender and gender identity, this terrible situation will continue and more lives will be needlessly and pointlessly lost as a result.

    I will be lighting a candle tonight to pay my own personal tribute to all those killed and injured by transphobic violence.


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