Although there is generally more acceptance of transgender individuals than in the past, widespread discrimination remains worldwide, and hundreds of transgender people are killed every year, while others continue to live in constant fear of attack. This includes violence committed against them by their families including spouses, parents, children and siblings.
In fact, the Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM) project (organized by non-profit association Transgender Europe) reported that more than 116 transgender people were killed during the first nine months of 2011 alone. As a result, these, and all others who have been killed because of their gender identity will be memorialized during the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) on November 20.
The Transgender Day of Remembrance was founded in 1998 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender graphic designer, columnist, and activist, as a web-based project to memorialize the murder of Rita Heston (a transgender African American woman) on November 28th in Allston, MA. Since then the event has evolved into something now observed in more than 185 cities throughout 20 countries including Greece, Gurkey, Poland, Israel, England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, France and Italy, as well as in several states here in the US., where it is common practice for particpants to read off the names of those who lost their lives during the past 12 months, as well as hold candlelight vigils, food drivges, marches, film screenings and art exhibits, etc.
Those interested in attending a memorial here in Connecticut can do so on Sunday, November 20, 2011 from 5:15 – 7:00 PM, beginning with a walk from the Charter Oak Culture (21 Charter Oak Avenue, Hartford, CT) to the Hartford Library (500 Main St.), where organizers will read the names of transgender people lost to violence and bias at 5:30 pm. This will then be followed at 7pm by a Program of Remembrance at Hartford Metropolitan Community Church (155 Wyllys Street, Hartford).
To learn more readers can go online to www.transgenderdor.org