October 29, 2021

Each year, on and around November 20th, PFLAG joins in honoring the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), which was inspired by the 1998 murder of Rita Hester

From tdor.info:

"The Transgender Day of Remembrance serves several purposes. It raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people, an action that current media doesn’t perform. Day of Remembrance publicly mourns and honors the lives of our brothers and sisters who might otherwise be forgotten. Through the vigil, we express love and respect for our people in the face of national indifference and hatred. TDOR reminds cisgender people that we are their sons, daughters, parents, friends and lovers, and gives allies a chance to step forward with us and stand in vigil, memorializing those of us who’ve died by anti-transgender violence."

In 2020, PFLAG National held a virtual vigil in the midst of the pandemic. This year, for TDOR 2021 we encourage you to participate in TDOR vigils, whether virtual or in person. For in-person events, please participate in a way that is safe based on your community's COVID guidelines. Many of our PFLAG chapters will host virtual TDOR events via their PFLAG Connects meetings. Find the chapter nearest you and ask how they are honoring the day.

Sadly, 2021 has already seen at least 46 transgender or gender non-conforming people die by violent means including, earlier this year, a friend of our PFLAG Springfield, MO chapter and, most recently, a beloved member of the PFLAG Tampa family. We say "at least," because often these stories go unreported or misreported. As in previous years, the majority of lives taken were those of Black and Latina transgender women. We would be remiss not to also mention the many trans and gender-nonconforming people we have lost to complications from COVID-19.

TDOR typically looks at these deaths not by calendar year, but from the previous TDOR to the current one. To that end, this year we share a resource from our friends at TGEU: a worldwide list of trans and nonbinary people whose lives were taken by violence, via their TMM project. See the full list now.

As PFLAGers--as human beings--it is imperative that we boldly, loudly, and publicly honor those we have lost to anti-trans violence and hate, and speak out against violence anywhere we see it. 

Simultaneously, as we honor those we have lost, we must use this as an opportunity to strongly recommit to trans inclusion at all levels of our work, providing support to people who are transgender and to their families and friends; providing education to those who still lack the understanding necessary to be good allies; and advocating for protections at all levels of government: Local, State, and Federal.