From November 12-19 hundreds of individuals and organizations around the country participated in Transgender Awareness Week to help raise the visibility of transgender and gender non-conforming people, and address the issues these communities face. The final day of Transgender Awareness Week is the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. TDOR was started by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. Take a look back now at the history of transgender visibility with this timeline of notable events compiled by GLAAD.
"The 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," said Transgender Day of Remembrance founder Gwendolyn Ann Smith. "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."
Learn about Transgender Day of Remembrance events in your city at transgenderdor.org and check out a list of 50 transgender icons at Huffington Post Gay Voices.