Transgender Remembrance Day

Join NELA in recognizing the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR). TDOR is an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.

It started in Boston in 1999, when Gwendolyn Ann Smith organized a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a Black trans woman who was murdered in November 1998. Anti-trans stigma, denial of opportunity, and increased risk factors all contribute to a higher risk of violence toward trans people. Studies prove that there is a disproportionate risk of violence toward trans people of color, and especially trans women of color in particular. To honor the lives of people lost to anti-trans violence, it is vital to amplify the pressing need for more thorough and empathetic reporting of anti-trans violence in the criminal justice system and the media. As anti LGBTQ+ rhetoric and legislation in the U.S. continues to escalate, TDOR offers library workers the opportunity to reflect on services we can provide to the trans community. What can libraries do?

We can:

  • Ensure free, equal access to programming and materials featuring trans voices and themes, for patrons of all ages.
  • Advocate for the addition of trans patrons' lived names and pronouns to ILS records.
  • Provide all-gender bathrooms when possible.
  • Create policies that proactively support trans people's access to library facilities and defend them against harassment and hate speech.
  • Work to actively curate an inclusive work environment for our trans colleagues.
  • Provide education, reputable resources, and safe spaces for trans patrons and their loved ones.
  • Unite and speak out against misinformation, book bans, and program challenges.
  • Elevate trans voices by hiring trans presenters and purchasing books by trans authors.

Looking for more resources and information:

"Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people - sometimes in the most brutal ways possible — it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice."


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