For generations, transgender people have suffered various forms of abuse (and even death) for challenging the views, notions, and stereotypes around “male” and “female” identity. Every year we set aside November 20 as a Transgender Day of Remembrance. This holiday is meant to honor, commemorate, and memorialize those who face discrimination and stigma (often on a daily basis) across the nation. This holiday is also meant to advocate for transgender people’s rights as well as focus on the persistent struggles they face in their everyday lives, and how others can share their love, support, and hope.
Transgender Day of Remembrance timeline
Minneapolis became the first U.S. city to pass a law prohibiting the discrimination of transgender people.
Transgender Day of Remembrance was founded in order to memorialize the murder of Rita Hester, a transgender woman.
The day was observed in more than 185 cities across more than 20 countries.
Laverne Cox, who starred in 'Orange Is the New Black,' is the first openly trans person to earn an Emmy Award nomination.
How to Observe Transgender Day of Remembrance
Attend candlelight vigils, food drives, and film screenings
A vigil enables you and your peers to honor those who lost their lives to anti-transgender violence. You can also start up a food drive to raise money and awareness for the transgender community.
One of the best ways to raise money and show support is to participate in a marathon or walk-a-thon that contributes to the transgender cause.
Support transgender rights groups
They include The Audre Lorde Project, Casa Ruby, Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement and more. Research groups in your area that support the LGBTQ+ community, and encourage others to donate as well.
3 Inspiring Transgender Celebrities
Jenner's not just the star of the reality show "Keeping Up With the Kardashians." She's also an Olympic gold medal-winning decathlete who reshaped the transgender movement.
Carrera's a burlesque and drag performer who has appeared on RuPaul's "Drag Race," as well as "Cake Boss," and "Real Housewives of New York City." She's petitioning to become Victoria Secret's first transgender model.
Cox is the first trans woman of color to play a leading role in a mainstream scripted television show. She's a two-time Emmy nominee for "Outstanding Guest Actress" in the Netflix hit "Orange Is The New Black."
Why Transgender Day of Remembrance is Important
It's a time for reflection
The day encourages us to stop and reflect on the transgender community — specifically the abuse many of them face as they attempt to lead their everyday lives. It's also meant to help spark transgender advocacy, support, and change across the U.S.
It encourages empathy
This day offers the opportunity for others to better understand the stigma, discrimination and barriers that many transgender people face. This understanding can lead to deeper empathy, and can remind us that we are all more alike than we are different.
It offers hope
Transgender Day of Remembrance invites communities to come together and unify against the powers of hate and fear.
Transgender Day of Remembrance dates