Transgender Day of Remembrance 2022: History, Significance and Celebrations

Transgender Day of Remembrance(TDoR) is annually celebrated on November 20th in the United States. This day is observed to memorialize those who have been murdered because of transphobia. 

Unfortunately transphobia or homophobia is still very prevalent in the certain sections if te society in the United States and across the world. In extreme cases this transphobia cases sometimes also result in the deaths of victims which is very sad and unfortunate. 

This day is also meant to advocate for transgender people’s rights as well as focus on the persistent struggles they face in their everyday lives, and how others can share their love, support, and hope to help them. 

Event Transgender Day of Remembrance
Date November 20, 2022
Day Sunday
Significance The day is observed to remember those who have died as a result of transphobia.
Observed by United States


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Transgender Day of Remembrance History: 

Transphobia is not a consistent factor across time and cultures. People’s acceptance of gender diverse individuals varies substantially and is highly dependent on group identity and local culture. Some societies have a long-standing culture of respect towards individuals whose gender identity is not what would be expected for their assigned sex at birth. Others are more inherently hostile. However in today’s world, we can say that homophobia exists within every societies and cultures in our world at some scale and of this to address this very serious issue this day was created.  

Transphobia or Homophobia was always higher in most sections of the society however it was during the late middle ages when it reached its peak like in 1885, the Criminal Law Act was passed in the UK, which made all homosexual behaviour illegal. Similar laws were put in place throughout Europe during this period. When homosexuality was made illegal, those suspected of it could face imprisonment and hard labour for up to two years. During this period almost everywhere in the world homosexuality was considered illegal or if it wasn’t then the society was still very hostile towards homosexual people.  

As a result of these laws, people who were trans sought out doctors who could cure them and a whole new field in medicine developed: sexology. The first sexologist who took a special interest in the sexual impulses of trans individuals was probably Krafft-Ebbing (1840-1902), professor of psychiatry at Vienna. However this resulted in many wrong types of treatment some of which even resulted in the death of the patients. It wasn’t until the turn of the modern century that we started to see change in the way the society perceives homosexuality. Some of that stigma still remains, but it is widely accepted that the only successful treatment for transsexual people is hormone therapy and surgical reassignment.  


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It was only in the turn of modern century when homosexuality was finally legalized in many parts of the world. Rita Hester (November 30, 1963 – November 28, 1998) was a transgender African-American woman who was murdered in Allston, Massachusetts, on November 28, 1998. In response to her murder, an outpouring of grief and anger led to a candlelight vigil held the following Friday (December 4) in which about 250 people participated. The community struggle to see Rita’s life and identity covered respectfully by local papers, including the Boston Herald and Bay Windows, was chronicled by Nancy Nangeroni. Her death inspired the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR). 


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Transgender Day of Remembrance Significance: 

The main goal of this day is to tackle transphobia within the society and spread awareness about it. Transphobia is a collection of ideas and phenomena that encompass a range of negative attitudes, feelings, or actions towards transgender people or transness in general. Transphobia can include fear, aversion, hatred, violence or anger towards people who do not conform to social gender expectations. It is often expressed alongside homophobic views and hence is often considered an aspect of homophobia. Transphobia is a type of prejudice and discrimination, similar to racism and sexism, and transgender people of color are often subjected to all three forms of discrimination at once. 

Transgender people may experience sexual harassment, bullying, and violence in school, foster care, and welfare programs, as well as potential abuse from within their family. Adult victims experience public ridicule, harassment including misgendering, taunts, threats of violence, robbery, insisting that they must change their physical bodies to comport with societal perceptions of gender, and false arrest; many feel unsafe in public. A high percentage report being victims of sexual violence. Besides the increased risk of violence and other threats, the stress created by transphobia can cause negative emotional consequences which may lead to substance use disorders, running away from home (in minors), and a higher rate of suicide. 


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The day encourages us to stop for a moment and reflect on the transgender community, specifically the abuse many of them face as they attempt to lead their everyday lives. It’s also meant to help spark transgender advocacy, support, and change across the U.S. that is not just to end discrimination yourself but also making others to do the same as well. It offers the opportunity for others to better understand the stigma, discrimination and barriers that many transgender people face. This understanding can lead to deeper empathy, and can remind us that we are all more alike than we are different.

This day is now supported and promoted by GLAAD, the awareness campaign receives much media coverage and support from transgender advocates all over the country. With candlelit vigils held where the names of those who have lost their lives are read out, and marches taking place in communities across the world along with many other events, there is plenty to get involved with. This is an opportunity to remember those we have lost in such horrific circumstances, come together to overcome divisions in our community, heal and grieve with other people affected by this terrible issue and attempt to find a way to educate those who are transphobic. 


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Transgender Day of Remembrance Celebrations: 

While TDoR is a critical event, scholars and activists committed to advancing intersectional approaches to trans politics continue to highlight the importance of seeing transphobic violence as inherently connected to race, gender, and class. This is reflected in the disproportionate instances of violence against trans women of color in general, Black and Latina transgender women in particular.  

Use this opportunity to attend candlelight vigils, food drives, and film screenings held on this day. A vigil enables you and your peers to honor those who lost their lives to anti-transgender violence. You can also start up a food drive to raise money and awareness for the transgender community as a way of your contribution for the day. 

One of the best ways to raise money and show support is to participate in a marathon or walk-a-thon that contributes to the transgender cause. Then you can donate to various transgender rights groups like The Audre Lorde Project, Casa Ruby, Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement and more. Research groups in your area that support the LGBTQ+ community, and encourage others to donate as well. 

Most Searched FAQs on Transgender Day of Remembrance: 

1. When is Transgender Day of Remembrance celebrated? 

Transgender Day of Remembrance is annually celebrated on November 20th in US. 

2. What is homophobia? 

The homophobia definition is the fear, hatred, discomfort with, or mistrust of people who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual. 

3. What is internalized homophobia? 

Internalized homophobia refers to people who are homophobic while also experiencing same-sex attraction themselves.  

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