Transgender Day of Remembrance

Transgender Awareness Week

Each year between November 13-19, people and organizations throughout the country celebrate Transgender Awareness Week. Transgender Awareness Week is to help increase understanding and bring attention to the trans community by educating the public on the folks that make up this diverse community. This is done through sharing resources, stories, experiences and increasing our advocacy around issues of violence, prejudice, and discrimination that the transgender community continues to face.

Transgender Day of Remembrance is annually held on November 20th. It was founded in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith who organized a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a trans woman who was murdered in 1998. Since then, this event has grown into an international day of remembrance, a day to honor the memory of all those who have lost their lives to discrimination and transphobic violence. In the US, 586 anti-trans bills have been introduced in state legislatures this year alone with the aim to restrict or completely ban access to gender affirming care, ban trans youth from participating in extracurriculars like sports, arts, and clubs, and in some cases, even going as far as threatening parents with child abuse charges for affirming their kids’ gender identities. This is also a day to bring awareness to the disproportionate violence faced by transgender and gender non-conforming individuals. Globally, at least 320 transgender and gender non-conforming individuals have been murdered between October 2022 and September of 2023, with 26 being from the United States. In the US, 88% of the victims were BIPOC, with 54% being Black transgender women. These are their names.

LaKendra Andrews

London Price

Lisa Love

Dominic Palace

A’nee Johnson

Sherlyn Marjorie

Chyna Long

Luis Angel Diaz Castro


Thomas ‘Tom-Tom’ Robertson

DeVonnie J’Rae Johnson

Camdyn Rider

Jacob Williamson

Chanell Perez Ortiz

Ashia Davis

Banko Brown

Koko Da Doll

Ashley Burton

Ta’Siyah Woodland


Chashay Ashanti Henderson

Maria Jose Rivera Rivera

Zachee Imanitwitaho

Unique Banks

KC Johnson

Jasmine “Star” Mack

These were all people with their whole lives ahead of them. Many were described as individuals who deeply loved their family and friends. Some loved to sing, while others loved to cook. They came from all walks of life—YOKO was a DJ, Tortuguita was an environment activist, and Koko Da Doll was a rapper. They all had their lives cut far too short because of violent transphobia. This serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of advocating for a world that protects and values the lives of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals. We must all come together as better allies so that these horrendous acts of violence do not continue to happen.

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