International Transgender Day of Remembrance

The Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual observance on November 20 that honours the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. It was started by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honour the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender activist who was killed in 1998. The vigil commemorated all the transgender people lost to violence that year and began an important memorial that has become the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Since its inception TDOR has slowly evolved from the web-based project started by Gwendolyn Smith into an international day of action. In 2010, TDOR was observed in over 185 cities throughout more than 20 countries and has been growing exponentially over the last decade. The event provides a forum for transgender communities and allies to raise awareness of the threat of violence faced by gender variant people and the persistence of prejudice felt by the transgender community.

“So many are taken from our community with nobody to remember them, some are even without a name; some have been so badly disfigured it is impossible to identify them. They were all human beings though, like you, like me – capable of receiving and giving love, happiness, compassion and kindness. Nobody deserves this for simply being true to who they are. This is why we have a Remembrance Day for them, for many would otherwise never have this privilege”.

The Students Union will be running a workshop as part of 'Reclaim your campus' for this years's Trans Day of Remembrance, from 3-5pm in Gallery Room 3. The workshop is part of the #I'llGoWithYou campaign which teaches people to be better allies for Trans* people, specifically in public restrooms. Free tea and coffee will be made available!

As well as this, a candlelit vigil begins in Millennium Square outside the Winter Gardens at 5.15, followed by a minute's noise. There will be 40 minutes of music, speeches and poetry on themes of loss, love, remembrance and hope with local Hate Crime and Trans* activist Nell Stockton. The event will end with music playing as everyone leaves the Winter Gardens to make their way to the Sheffield Odeon at Arundal Gate for the premiere of E.D.E.N Film Production’s latest documentary Trashing Transphobia.

Just after 8pm there will be an opportunity for the audience to make their way as a group up to the Viper Rooms for the official after party. From 8:30 to 10:30pm the event will feature music, the award of community certificates and the DVD of Trashing Transphobia to the participants of E.D.E.N’s Trashing Transphobia project and the opportunity to pledge actions to ‘Trash Transphobia.’

We hope you can all join us for some of these great events!