GLAAD observes Transgender Day of Remembrance

Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual observance on November 20, 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. The vigil commemorated all the transgender people lost to violence that year and began an institutional memorial that has become Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Today, we honor the lives of transgender and gender non-conforming people who died due to acts of violence. We say their names to commemorate who they were, and their lives which were taken too soon. We also recognize there are names of people we don’t know because of misreporting and misgendering in media stories about their deaths.

Since January 1, we have lost at least 26 people to anti-transgender violence in the United States, making 2016 the most deadly year in U.S. history for transgender people. It is a painful reality but we must together confront and address the epidemic of violence targeting this community.

The onslaught of killings against transgender people cannot be ignored and more media coverage of this hate violence is critical. GLAAD will continue to work to correct media reports which misgender victims and we will continue urging national media to cover the violence trans people face.

When the overwhelming majority of the victims of anti-transgender violence are transgender women of color, particularly Black women, we recognize that the fight to protect transgender women includes dismantling systemic racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia.

The rise and election of Trump has ushered in a new era of hatred and violence directed at people from across different communities and identities, including trans people, which calls on us to stand even more firmly unified against hatred and violence, and even more strongly in support of love and acceptance.

For the friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers of the transgender people whose lives were taken too soon and futures unjustifiably stolen for simply living as their authentic selves, GLAAD mourns with you.

GLAAD’s resolve to defend and advance equality and acceptance and put an end to hate in all its forms has never been more resolute.

To learn more about Transgender Day of Remembrance:

To find more resources to cover TDOR: