What is Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR)?
TDoR is an annual observance on the 20 November that acknowledges and honours all those that have lost their lives due to anti-transgender violence.
TDoR was first observed in 1999 and was initially a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a trans woman who was murdered in 1998. The vigil, organised by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, grew then in scope and size but the goals of highlighting the losses and violence faced in the wake of hate crime and anti-transgender actions.
Why is TDoR importnt?
Trans people are far more likely to be subject to hate crime, violence and discrimination than cisgender people (even those within the LGBT+ community). In 15 countries around the world, even open expression of your gender identity is illegal. Did you know that:
- In 2021, there were 375 reported cases of transgender people being murdered. This figure is expected to be significantly higher as many cases do not go reported. (Source: Forbes)
- In the UK in 2020 and 2021, a total of 2,630 cases of hate crime against trans people were recorded. (Source: StopHateUK)
- Suicide rates amongst transgender youth and adults are significantly higher than the rest of the population. An estimated 82% of transgender adults have considered suicide and 40% have attempted it during their lifetime (Source)
Questions to ask:
- Education and awareness: is my organisation actively supporting colleagues to better understand trans and non-binary identities.
- Pronouns and language: Do your employees all include their pronouns in their email signatures? If not, why? This is a small action but of high impact as it is the discussion around pronouns.
- Role modelling and visibility: is your organisation spotlighting trans and nonbinary people internally or externally?
- Data: is your organisation actively capturing, monitoring and reporting on diversity data?
A brief timeline of important transgender milestones
- 1951: Roberta Cowell transitions
- 1969: The term “transgender” popularised by Virginia Finch
- 1986: Mark Rees petitions the EU Court of Human Rights
- 1996: First recorded ruling of unfair dismissal from work for a trans person.
- 1999: Transgender Day of Remembrance founded
- 1999: Transgender flag designed by Monica Helms
- 2009: Transgender Day of Visibility founded
- 2010: UK Equality Act protects transgender people
- 2020: US Supreme Court rules that the Civil Rights Act protects trans people
To explore this conversation further, please get in touch at: firstname.lastname@example.org.