Transgender Day of Remembrance is a call to action. Since 1998, transgender advocates and allies have reserved a day in November to commemorate the lives of transgender people we have lost to anti-transgender violence. Known internationally as Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), this observance has served as a beacon of hope to all the brave souls who have stood, and continue to stand, in their truth, and as a call to action for the trans community and our allies.
Sadly, we are faced with the stark reality of a society in which certain lives have less value, and where basic human dignities are stripped away with hatred. Violence against transgender individuals is not uncommon in many communities across the United States and, unfortunately, the litany of people who have been unfairly targeted because of who they are or how they look, is growing. According to the most recent data from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) as many as 30 transgender people were murdered in 2011, most of whom were transgender African-American women, marking the highest number of reported anti-transgender murders ever reported by the organization which has been tracking hate violence for more than a decade.
Given current social trends, we are constantly reminded of the atrocious disregard and lack of respect for the transgender population. In fact, the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) released an unprecedented survey of 6,450 respondents highlighting violence and discrimination faced by transgender and gender, non-conforming people. Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (2011), listed “hundreds of dramatic findings on the impact of anti-transgender bias”. It concludes that “people of color fare far worse than white participants across the board, with African American transgender respondents faring far worse than all others in most areas examined”.
We can change this.
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