Transgender Day of Remembrance

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Transgender Day of Remembrance is an occasion (founded by Gwendolyn Ann Smith[1]) in the LGBT community set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice (transphobia).

The event is held yearly, on the 20 of November, to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on 28th November 1998, kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Since then, the event has grown to encompass memorials in hundreds of cities around the world.[2] Rita Hester's murder, like most anti-transgender murder cases, has yet to be solved.

Although not every person represented during the Day of Remembrance self-identified as transgender that is, as a transsexual, crossdresser, or otherwise gender-variant; each was a victim of violence based on bias against transgender people.

We live in times more sensitive than ever to hatred based violence, especially since the events of September 11th. Yet even now, the deaths of those based on anti-transgender hatred or prejudice are largely ignored. Over the last decade, more than one person per month has died due to transgender-based hate or prejudice, regardless of any other factors in their lives. This trend shows no sign of abating.

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. Day of Remembrance reminds non-transgender people that we are their sons, daughters, parents, friends and lovers. Day of Remembrance gives our allies a chance to step forward with us and stand in vigil, memorializing those of us who've died by anti-transgender violence.

What can be done

  • Candlelight Vigils / Marches
  • Discussion forums with local activists, politicians, or school officials
  • Performance Actions
  • Poetry or spoken word art readings

Visual representation of the number of deaths with:

  • Cardboard Tomb Stones of Remembered People
  • Paper Cutouts of Remembered People
  • Body Outline Chalkings of Remembered People
  • Teach-Ins and Speakers Bureaus
  • Art / Photography Displays
  • Movie screenings (such as "Boys Don't Cry")
  • Trans 101 trainings for staff or any interested people

And anything else that reflects the grounding principles of the day that you can imagine.

Death statistics

In the 1970's In the 1980's In the 1990's In the years 2000-2005 In the year 2006 In the year 2007 In the year 2008 In the year 2009 In the year 2010 In the year 2011 In the year 2012 In the year 2013 In the year 2014 In the year 2015
known deaths 22 46 133 156 16 18 47 150 27 29 62 63 77 89

While the official tally stands at 539 known dead, hundreds, if not thousands, of victims will not be ever known about.

Notable victims

8/08/95 - Tyra Hunter - She died from non-life-threatening injuries received in an auto accident because EM workers stopped treating her when they discovered she was transgender.

2/22/96 - Logan Smith - Died from internal injuries after being kicked by the police.

1/17/99 - Robert Eads - After being turned down by 20 doctors because he was a Female-to-Male Transsexual, he found a doctor to treat his cancer, but it was too late. The last year of Robert's life is chronicled in the documentary called Southern Comfort.

6/18/00 - Amanda Milan bled to death, while cab drivers along the street cheered and applauded.

1/21/01 - James Jerome Mack was not transgender, but was in a relationship with a transgender woman. His death is a direct result of this relationship. Not only was he beaten and strangled, but drowned, then his body was set on fire.

8/12/02 - Ukea (Deon) Davis was 18-years-old and Stephanie (Wilbur) Thomas was 19-years-old. Both were shot several times. This happened seven years, 4 days, and one block away from where the Tyra Hunter incident took place.

11/09/08 - Duanna Johnson was found dead in the middle of the street, murdered by way of gunshot wound(s) to the head. This was following an incident with Memphis (Tennessee) Police officers whom had physically assaulted her while in police custody. The identity of the suspect(s) is unknown at this time.

3/10/09 - Ebru Soykan (also referred to as Dilan Pirinc) had asked the Prosecutor's Office for protection from the man who had beaten her on several occasions and threatened to kill her. Lambda Istanbul (Turkey) was told that a few weeks ago police detained the man but released him two hours later. The same man was taken under police custody as the primary suspect in Ebru's murder. Ebru was 28 years old when she was stabbed to death.

10/15/09 - Andrea Waddell's flat in the UK had been set on fire. It was later determined that Andrea had been strangled before the fire was set.

Transgender Day of Remembrance Webcomics Project

The Transgender Day of Remembrance Webcomics Project is an online event founded by Jenn Dolari and Erin Lindsey to commemorate the Transgender Day of Remembrance. The creators of various web comics each feature a page for the 20th November that highlights the Day of Remembrance.

Originally a cross over webcomic between Venus Envy and Closetspace in 2004 to mark the 6th Day of Remembrance, participation grew to include a total of nine web comics in the first year. The event has continued to occur since then, and a permanent gallery of the pages is kept at Jenn Dolari's website.

See also


  1. Remembering Our Dead (2000-5-30). Retrieved on 2009-11-19.
  2. Uniting for the greater cause, November 14 2008, Retrieved November 14 2008

External links


*Some information provided in whole or in part by